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CHARLES E. MADDRY
Charles E. Maddry
NASHVILLE • TENNESSEE
Printed in the United States of America
After ten years the undertaking has been completed. The work of
writing this manuscript has been done in the midst of a busy and
crowded life. Many have helped me along the way or I never could
have finished the task.
First, I want to acknowledge with deep gratitude the help and
inspiration received from my classmate and long-time professor of
creative writing in the University of North Carolina, Charles Phillips
Russell. At the age of seventy-one years, I re-entered the University
and studied for several months under this popular and inspiring
teacher. Several of the chapters of this book were read before his
classes and received the constructive criticism of my teacher and
I would also pay grateful tribute to Miss Lucile Rogers, professor
in the department of English of Union University, Jackson, Tennessee.
She has had wide experience in the making of books and in editorial
I would also acknowledge with sincere appreciation the valuable
assistance of Miss Linda Maddry, a secretary in the department of
mathematics at State College, Raleigh, North Carolina. She is a
splendid stenographer and has copied and re-copied the manuscript
many times. Without her assistance, I could not have finished the
Dr. E. C. Routh of Lockhart, Texas, former editor of The Com-
mission of the Baptist Foreign Mission Board, edited the manuscript
and checked many of the historical references in the book.
I would also pay glad tribute to Dr. Hight C Moore, former
editorial secretary of the Sunday School Board, for many valuable
suggestions made while the manuscript was in preparation.
I wish also to express my great appreciation to my wife for her
encouragement through the years. Many times the work was laid
aside during the press of other duties but, always under her sym-
pathetic inspiration, was taken up afresh.
And lastly, to my granddaughter, Kay Maddry Severance, now
vi Charles E. Maddry— An Autobiography
a student at Westhampton College, Richmond, I would acknowledge
valuable assistance rendered in searching out and correcting mistakes
in spelling, choice of words, and construction.
So to all these fellow helpers along the way, I express my deep and
I pray earnestly that God's blessing may be upon all who by chance
may read the story of my experiences as I have traveled the pathways
of the world.
Charles E. Maddry
Hillsboro, North Carolina
I Hight C Moore
II E. C. Routh
Chapter I. Early Years ....
II. A Discovery and a Decision
III. Teaching and Preaching .
IV. Dedication and Preparation
V. Return to North Carolina
VI. University Church, Austin, Texas
VII. Call and Commitment to Larger
VIII. Accepting a World Commission
IX. Visiting Mission Fields in Europe .
X. Seven Months in the Orient .
XL Down Under the Southern Cross .
XII. Africa and India 118
XIII. America's Day of Infamy 127
XIV. Rethiement from the Secretaryship . . 136
List of Illustrations
Charles E. Maddry while Secretary of the Foreign Mission
Board, 1934 32
Charles E. Maddry at seventeen 33
Charles E. Maddry at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary,
University Baptist Church, Austin, Texas 64
The Maddrys in Brazil in 1936 with Harley Smith, Dr. and
Mrs. W. B. Bagby, and Dr. and Mrs. L. R. Scarborough . 64
The Maddrys and the J. B. Weatherspoons at the grave of
Henrietta Hall Shuck in Hong Kong 65
The Maddry family: Mrs. R. W. Severance (daughter, Kath-
arine), Bob, Sarah, Dr. Maddry, Kay, R. W. Severance, and
Mrs. Maddry 65
Charles E. Maddry and R. T. Vann 96
Charles E. Maddry and William Wallace 96
The Maddrys at a reception honoring his seventy-eighth birth-
Charles E. Maddry, M. Theron Rankin, and J. W. Decker, sec-
retary, American Baptist Foreign Mission Society ... 97
Charles E. Maddry at seventy-six 128
Charles E. Maddry at the desk used by Matthew T. Yates . . 128
Mrs. Charles E. Maddry in 1933 129
Here is the very radiant record of a boy who rose from rural obscurity
to worldwide influence.
He came of sturdy stock with high forehead to think, keen eyes
to see, firm jaws to will, throbbing heart to feel, strong hands to work,
swift feet to run the race of life.
He was brought up in exhilarant environs: on a fertile farm of
primitive equipment; in a home of good parents and happy children;
among friendly neighbors; in a region of high uplook and far out-
Through seemingly limited circumstances, he was given large in-
sight from the home hearth, the church services, the public schools,
a modest supply of good literature, and occasional addresses of ability.
From divine fingerboards he was guided in every step of his
preparatory years— from his conversion and baptism and call to the
ministry to his ordination and student pastorates until he graduated
with honor from the state university near his home and from theolog-
ical seminary at Louisville.
He was most fortunate in winning for his life-partner "a worthy
woman," and their beautifully blended lives were radiantly happy
and widely blest for nearly fifty years, their gifted daughter with her
husband and children rising up "to call them blessed."
He was a popular pastor of grateful and growing churches: "a good
minister of Jesus Christ;" effective in evangelism, energetic in up-
building and outreaching; eminent in pulpit power; outstanding in
his denomination; an esteemed citizen of the commonwealth and
He was an administrator of distinction: first in the churches he
served, then as state mission secretary, then as director of a southwide
co-operative committee, and finally as Executive Secretary of a great
Foreign Mission Board reaching out into all continents of the earth.
Truly he has been a world figure with planetary horizon, having
xii Charles E. Maddry— An Autobiography
personally visited churches and stations in many lands, having en-
couraged and energized every phase of mission endeavor at home
and abroad, having solved many problems and difficulties, having
prayed with throbbing fervor and having pleaded with tearful force
that all co-operant churches would join more vigorously in winning all
men everywhere to Christ.
And now he is an eminent emeritus with laurels circling his brow.
His beloved companion is close by his side; "each for the other and
both for God," they minister in the church where they were married.
Worthily he is climaxing his career by writing volumes of value, in-
cluding this appealing autobiography.
God bless this honored, happy couple, and long may they linger
in the sunset glow of this life, though every ready and alerted for
the glory and dawn of Eternal Day!
Hight C Moore
Ridgecrest, North Carolina
Nothing is so interesting as life. No literature is more instructive and
inspiring than stories of people who have fulfilled in large measure the
purposes of God. "Lives of great men all remind us we can make our
The portrayal of the struggles and achievements of Charles E.
Maddry is one of the most fascinating stories I have ever read. Beset
by many handicaps, he overcame obstacles which would have dis-
mayed and defeated a less resolute personality. When he was tempted
to yield to the pull of the low way, a wise and discerning teacher set
his feet on the high way and gave him the vision of the richer life.
The decision to commit himself to the Master Teacher, to seek first
the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and to interpret the plans
of God as related to his own life, led him to the university, to the
seminary, to the pastorate, to the secretaryship— first in his own native
state of North Carolina, then in the world mission task of Southern
As Executive Secretary of the Foreign Mission Board of the South-
ern Baptist Convention, he visited all of our mission areas and re-
turned from each with a compassionate appeal to Southern Baptists
to carry the message of the crucified and risen Lord to the ends of
When he began his service as Secretary of the Foreign Mission
Board, Southern Baptists were under a crushing debt of one and
one-half million dollars for their foreign mission work. No new
missionaries were being sent out. Then came the dawn of a new
day, when under the leadership of Charles Maddry, Southern Baptists
took heart and reinforced the depleted ranks of weary missionaries
with eager volunteers equipped for service. They began reducing the
debt, and within a dozen years every cent of that indebtedness had
been paid. For the first time in the hundred years of the existence
of the Foreign Mission Board no interest obligations were incurred.
In more than thirty countries we now have nearly three times as
many missionaries as we had in the dark days of the early '30's.
I count it a happy privilege to write this word of introduction.
For forty years I have had fellowship with this greathearted mission-
ary leader. My affection for him and my appreciation of his glorious
service were deepened during the several years of my intimate
acquaintance with him while serving as editor of The Commission.
The thrilling story of Dr. Maddry 's life and labors should be placed
in every Baptist home and church library in the territory of the
Southern Baptist Convention. It will bless and strengthen everyone
who reads its message of conquering courage, overcoming faith, and
E. C. Routh
On the last day of December, 1839, my grandfather, Abel Maddry,
and Jane Gattis, daughter of Alexander Gattis, a Revolutionary hero
and a ruling elder in New Hope Presbyterian Church, were married.
Abel stole his bride and carried her away riding behind him on a
horse. Sixty years later when I asked my great uncle, Samuel, why
my great-grandfather had objected to the marriage of Abel and Jane,
he said that his father, an old-fashioned, bluestocking Presbyterian,
did not believe that the Baptists and the Methodists were very re-
spectable in a religious way. Though he considered young Abel a man
of splendid character, hard-working, and possessed of exemplary
habits, he could not reconcile himself to the idea of his daughter's
taking a husband who belonged to the despised, hard-headed sect
of fervent, shouting, evangelistic newcomers who were known as
They began housekeeping in a three-room log structure on the
"Tailor Gattis" farm, two and one-half miles north of Chapel Hill on
the old Hillsboro Road. Here my father was born on May 5, 1841,
and was named William Alexander— for his great-grandfather,
William Betts, and his grandfather, Alexander Gattis.
Grandfather Maddry was a hard-working man; and, in spite of
the thin and rocky soil upon which he had located, he always made
a good living. He became a substantial citizen and won for himself a
place of high esteem in the Mount Moriah Baptist Church, where he
served for more than fifty years as a faithful and devoted deacon.
Before the Civil War he was captain of the militia. I remember as
a small lad hearing the older people talk of the "Muster Days," when
all the township came out after the crops were laid by and spent
the day in drilling the young men in military tactics, marksmanship,
and other warlike preparations. On these occasions there were social
gatherings and athletic contests such as climbing a greased pole,
2 Charles E. Maddry— An Autobiography
catching a greased pig, shooting at the "bull's eye" for turkeys and
pigs, sack racing, and wrestling.
I have examined carefully the old minute or record books of many
country Baptist churches. It is significant that almost without ex-
ception the slave members are always referred to as "servants" and
never as "slaves." I have a marked conviction that our fathers, al-
though they accepted or acquiesced in the institution of human
slavery and fought the Civil War to preserve it, in their relationship
as brothers in Christ in the churches could not bring themselves to the
practice of referring to slaves as such but always as servants. There
must have been an innate sense of decency and a feeling of a common
brotherhood of equality in Christ that made it incongruous to refer
to their black brothers and sisters in Christ, held in bondage against
their wills, as slaves.
From the time of the organization of the church at Mount Moriah
in 1823, there was a large number of "servants" in the membership.
About 1850, the problem of discipline as it related to the large and
ever-growing number of Negro members became so demanding and
acute that the church elected a colored deacon to assist the white
deacons in the handling of all matters concerning the moral and
spiritual welfare of the slave contingent in the church.
After the Civil War, Grandfather was looked upon by the newly-
freed black people as their friend and defender. Before the war the
slaves had been members of Mount Moriah Church, but in 1868
there was full agreement by all the members, white and black, that
tire time had come for the Negro members of the church to take
letters of dismissal and form their own church. Grandfather was made
chairman of a committee to help organize and guide the Negro church
during the early and difficult days of its beginnings. Several months
after the new church, Mount Sinai, was started, a delegation of Negro
deacons, sent by the church, came to seek his counsel in a dispute
among the brethren over the command of Jesus, "Drink ye all of it."
Some of the members had contended that this meant that all the wine
brought to the communion table must be drunk, while others had
contended that it meant that all the members were to partake of the
wine. The contention became sharp, and bitterness in the congrega-
tion flared to dangerous proportions. Grandfather set the brethren
straight on the matter of the Lord's Supper; henceforth, everything
at Sinai was quiet and peaceful!
Grandmother, in keeping with her training in an orthodox Presby-
Early Years 3
terian home of that day, believed strictly in keeping the Lord's Day
holy. All work on the farm had to be finished by Saturday noon; all
washing, ironing, and cooking were completed before sundown on
Saturday. "Loaf bread," as it was called, was baked in a deep oven
before an open fire on Saturday morning. Meats were boiled or
baked, and all food for the Lord's Day was prepared on Saturday.
Nothing was cooked on Sunday except that water was boiled for the
making of the coffee. The children grew up in devotion to the gospel
of Christ, and the reading of the Word of God was the natural and
accepted practice, not only in this home but in most of the homes in
Mrs. Cornelia Phillips Spencer, eminent North Carolina historian,
once said that the University at Chapel Hill was like a great light-
house sending out its beneficent and illuminating rays into every
nook and corner of the state, but that at the base it was dark. The
observation of Mrs. Spencer was true to the facts. I was born and
grew to manhood at the "base." My father's farm was located three
miles north of the university village on the old Hillsboro Road, known
in recent years as the Airport Road.
On this poor, rocky farm of ninety acres, nestling at the eastern
base of Nunn's Mountain, I first saw the light of day on April 10, 1876,
in a three-room log house, situated in a large grove of beautiful oaks
and hickories. Two sisters had already come to bless the humble
home. There were six more to follow, until nine in all ( five girls and
four boys ) had come to crowd the little log house almost to suffoca-
tion. One girl died in infancy; eight grew to adulthood.
In the decade of the 1840's, North Carolina had passed the first
public school law. The counties of the state were divided into large
school districts; under the law, a schoolhouse was built somewhere
near the center of each district. Within a half-mile of my grandfather's
home, Strain's schoolhouse was erected. The huge chimney was on
the inside of the house and had an open fireplace six feet wide. The
neighbors joined in building this first schoolhouse for the community;
some gave logs, some lumber, and all contributed the necessary
The house was furnished with rough seats made of oak slabs with
holes bored in them. Legs fashioned from pieces of split timber were
inserted into the holes. On each side of the house one log was cut
out, and a board was fastened over the opening with leather hinges.
This provided light and air. The school, in session for some two
4 Charles E. Maddry— An Autobiography
months after the "crops were laid by," or during January and Feb-
ruary, was taught by some itinerant schoolmaster, who usually
boarded around with his pupils, spending a week at a time with the
leading farmers of the community.
The curriculum of the school was usually limited to the three
R's— "reading, 'rit'n, and rithmetic." Webster's "Blue-back Speller,"
then in vogue, was the mainstay for seekers after learning. Usually
the school session was far too short for much to be accomplished.
Through the years of my boyhood and youth we had a varied
succession of teachers— some good, some poor, and a few who never
should have tried to teach. When I was ten years old, there came as
teacher for the summer months a young man who was a promising
senior at the University. It was his first school and he did not believe
in "sparing the rod and spoiling the child."
We had two spelling classes— the "little spelling class" and the "big
spelling class." I belonged to the former. There was a spirited contest
as to who should get the most "head marks." Three of us were far
out in the lead— Norman, Minnie, and myself. I was veiy fond of
Minnie, and she professed a decided liking for me. On this particular
day Minnie was at the head of the long line; I was second; Norman
was third. The teacher gave Minnie a word she could not spell. She
stuttered and stumbled and in her desperation telegraphed me out
of the corner of her mouth, "How do you spell it?" I was on a hot
spot! Conscience and self-interest said, "Don't tell her." Romance and
the appeal of those blue eyes said, "Help her out." I threw discretion
to the wind and whispered the fatal answer that was to be my un-
doing. She spelled the word, and it would have passed unnoticed, but
Norman cried out, "Charlie told her how to spell it!"
If the teacher had asked me, I feel sure I would have come clean
and confessed. Instead, he turned to the young flame of my heart
and demanded sternly, "Did he tell you how to spell that word?"
Frightened and confused, she replied, "Mr. Blank, I hope I may
die if he did." Now that was a poser! What was a gallant gentleman
to do when the lady of his heart was in trouble? The outcome? Well,
they proved it on me in spite of the protestations of innocence on
the part of the two guilty parties!
Mr. Blank sent one of the older boys out for a "turn" of long
slender dogwood switches. It was a cool rainy day in August, and I
was wearing a coat, which he ordered me to take off. With vigor and
evident enjoyment he laid thirty-two lashes upon my all but bare
Early Years 5
back and legs. Some of the big boys did the counting. I lost count
after the first few strokes.
My father, who was one of the school committeemen, was away
when I reached home. Mother, with sympathetic tenderness, treated
my lacerated and bleeding back with simple home remedies. I
remember being wakened from troubled sleep sometime in the night
to see Mother holding an oil lamp, while Father examined my bleed-
ing, swollen back and legs.
There was a violent scene early the next morning at the home
of the neighbor where the teacher boarded. Father went over to give
him a thrashing. However, he would not fight and decided flight was
the better part of valor. In a few days, hot tempers cooled, apologies
were offered and accepted, and I was sent back to school; but there
was no more whipping of littie boys that session. Later, the young
man graduated from the University and became a prominent college
Through all the years of my teens and early manhood, the bitter
memory of that brutal flogging in the old country school lingered,
and I promised myself that I would thrash George Blank if I ever met
Then, in the unfolding years, Christ came into my life and took
out of my heart all the bitterness and hatred toward the teacher of
those boyhood days. I became a preacher and, after the studies
at the seminary, came to Greensboro, North Carolina, as pastor of
two mission churches. It had been just twenty years since the "battle"
at Strain's schoolhouse. Coming out of the post office one day after
my arrival in Greensboro, I met a tall, distinguished-looking gentle-
man—my old teacher. He hesitated, seeming much embarrassed, and
then said, "Is this Mr. Maddry?" After I assured him that he had
guessed correctly, he said, "Twenty years ago this summer I wronged
you greatly. I was brutal and unjust to you, and my conscience has
troubled me over this matter all these years. I read in the paper that
you had come to a pastorate in our city, and when I saw you, I guessed
you were the man. I promised myself that the first time I met you I
would apologize for the wrong I did you and ask for your forgive-
With emotion he extended his hand. I grasped it gladly and said,
"Mr. Blank, if I had met you some years ago, I am afraid there would
have been a different story to tell. But the Lord took all the anger
and bitterness of that unfortunate incident out of my heart, and I
6 Charles E. Maddry— An Autobiography
forgave you for the wrong you did me long ago. I now have nothing
but love and good wishes for you." We parted with mutual esteem
and a good understanding, both glad that we had come face to face
and settled the old score between us in the right way.
A Great Teacher
Before I was in my teens there came to live in the community
a young bride who was well educated, gentle, and refined; she was a
Christian, humble in spirit, and deeply consecrated. She was possessed
by a divine urge to uplift the moral, economic, and religious life of
the community, though the vast majority of us did not want to be
"uplifted." Most of the people had grown accustomed to their grinding
poverty and did not want to be disturbed. They resented any new
and "hifalutin" plans for uplift and progress. They were backward,
poor, and illiterate. Possibly a third of the population could not read
or write. They wrested a meager living from the thin and rocky soil.
Life was a daily struggle to make ends meet.
The churches were backward, and the "meeting houses" were one-
room, "cigar-box" buildings, ugly and unpainted. They were wholly
inadequate for teaching or worship. The pastors, in the main, were
poorly educated and without qualities of inspiring leadership, al-
though there were notable exceptions. Some were men of fine
personality and good natural ability. However, the poverty of the
people and lack of support on the part of the churches forced them
into secular employment to earn a living. They were absentee
preachers instead of being forceful leaders in the churches.
In our home newspapers were few. With the exception of the large
family Eible and a precious copy of The Pilgrims Progress, books
The newcomer among us did her best to lift up a worthy standard
of morals, decency, and high idealism for this ultra-conservative,
self-satisfied community. Although she was a Presbyterian, since there
was no church of her faith in the community, she threw herself
wholeheartedly into the life and activity of the local Methodist church.
The "problem class" in the Sunday school was the boys' class, com-
posed of lads ranging in age from ten to sixteen years. We were
known as bad boys, and we prided ourselves on the status the name
implied. Some members of the group were possibly more promising
than the rest. They were able to read and write. To the others, the
printed page was a sealed mystery.
Early Years 7
"Miss Joe," as the bride was known to her friends, asked for the
privilege of teaching this class. The superintendent, greatly relieved,
granted her request. The new teacher was attractive in personality,
ardent, and hopeful in spirit. She loved boys and had infinite patience
and an unflagging faith in the "comeout"' of a bad boy. She taught
the fundamental and essential truths of the Word of God and instilled
in some of us a sense of sin and a longing for a better life in Christ.
She loved us, prayed for us, held on to us, never gave us up. She tried
to teach us the rudiments of decency and good manners. Yet we
were not conscious at the time that she was doing anything for us,
and I am sure she herself was often discouraged and ready to give
up. When I was about seventeen years of age, she moved away from
the community and went with her invalid husband to live in Florida.
Full twenty years passed by, and it gradually dawned on me that
I owed an eternal debt of gratitude to this faithful and devoted
Sunday school teacher. We had lost touch with each other, but
through friends in the old community, news came that she had
"fallen on evil days." Age and infirmity had crept on apace, and
poverty had come to cast its darkening shadow over her declining
There came over me a strong feeling that I should go to Florida,
seek out this devoted teacher of the long ago, and tell her before it
was too late how much I loved her and appreciated all she had
meant to me in my formative years.
Securing a ten-days' vacation from my church, I journeyed to
Florida and found her living in a very humble home in the pine
barrens of her adopted state. She was still cheerful and courageous.
Dire poverty had not dampened her ardor nor quenched her passion
for the high and holy things in Christ. She was overjoyed to see me,
and I spent two nights and a glorious Sunday in that humble home,
in sweet fellowship and blessed joy, as we recounted the sacred
memories of the years of long ago.
In a few months she slipped away to the better land; but the
holy memory of her prayers, her teaching, her love, and her faith
abide with me.
Ex-slaves had settled on the marginal lands all about our neighbor-
hood. Most of them had bought little, poor, rocky patches of land
and were trying to make a living. My grandfather was always a friend
and a helper of the Negro people; they looked up to him and went
to him with all of their troubles and sorrows. My father followed in
8 Charles E. Maddry— An Autobiography
his footsteps. For many years he was a school committeeman for the
Negro district school near us and did all he could to help provide the
Negroes with a schoolhouse and with funds for their school. He did
his best to encourage and help them in every way. Every Negro in
all the countryside believed in the justice and fair dealing of my
Very few of these ex-slaves could read or write, though some who
were born in slavery just before the end of the Civil War had learned
to read and write in a very limited way. However, since almost all of
them were ambitious that their children should get all the education
possible, they sent them to school for the two months the public
school ran during the year. The schoolhouse was a miserable log
cabin, and the teacher was very poorly paid; but the poverty-stricken
black people were doing their best to educate and train their children
in the things of decency and religion.
Almost all the Negroes I knew in the township were Baptists and
were loyal to their church and to their preacher. The title for the
preacher was "Reverend," and, if worthy, he was held in high esteem
by his people. Reverend L. H. Hackby was pastor of the Negro
Baptist church in Chapel Hill for more than forty years. He was a
tall, handsome, distinguished-looking man with a high forehead, a
long straight nose, and thin lips. Well educated and with a splendid
reputation for honesty in all public dealings, he stood for everything
that was good for the people in general and for the race in particular.
He was a dignified man, and every white person who knew him
respected him. He was really a very gifted preacher and orator, and
the Lord used him in a marvelous way in leading the Negroes
around Chapel Hill in everything that made for character, decency,
and order. He was also a splendid schoolteacher and taught along
with his preaching. He was truly one of God's noblemen.
I was fourteen and a half years old before I ever had a ready-made
suit of clothes. In the spring of 1890, my father gave me half a bag
of fertilizer and an acre of thin, rocky land for a "cotton patch." I
planted that cotton and cultivated it with loving care. The yield was
poor, and the price was low; for the cotton and seed I got only fifteen
dollars, but I was rich beyond the dreams of Croesus!
In company with a cousin, who was a year older than I, and a
self-confident sixteen-year-old neighbor boy who had boasted of his
ability to get the better of the sharpest merchant in a trade, I went
to Durham, then a sprawling market town of some five thousand in-
Early Years 9
habitants, to buy my first suit of "store clothes." We drove twelve
miles over a wretched road in a one-horse wagon drawn by a little
mule. The trip took three hours.
We spent two hours bargaining and haggling with a Jewish mer-
chant over the price and finally bought for seven dollars and fifty
cents each, two suits just alike, one for my cousin and one for myself.
A stiff-bosomed shirt with a detachable collar, a ready-tied blue
striped cravat, and a hat completed the most gorgeous and satisfying
outfit that ever adorned the person of an awkward, gangling, self-
conscious, fourteen-year-old country boy!
Sunday school met at nine-thirty the next morning, but I was on
the church grounds a full hour before to show off my new outfit. In
the afternoon I went to see my first girl. She was twenty years old,
gentle and pretty, and the most popular and sought-after young
woman in the neighborhood. The fact that she was already engaged
to be married did not lessen my love for her in the slightest! I took
her some cheap candy, which she received with the gracious charm
which characterized her conduct toward everyone.
My mother, a woman of boundless energy, was tireless in her
efforts to see to it that her family was adequately clothed and
properly care for. She hated poverty, but she was compelled to
struggle against its galling and humiliating ravages all through the
years of her married life until she was sixty years of age. Her father,
who had succeeded at several callings and made money, was indul-
gent with his family and a good provider. He was very generous
toward my mother, and when she married he set her up with all
that was needed for housekeeping. Beautiful and substantial pieces
of walnut furniture have come down to her children of this day-
all the gifts of my grandfather to his favorite daughter, Julia Rebecca.
He gave her ninety acres of land, as good eighty years ago as any other
farm in the community.
However, my father was not a success as a farmer. Prosperity did
not come to the young Maddry couple. He was a young man of great
promise when he came to his majority in 1861. His education was
above the average of his companions in the community, and he was
ready to enter college when the Civil War interrupted his plans. He
told me the last time I ever saw him alone that he felt God had called
him to preach. He came home from the war defeated, his health
gone; and he went through life with a sense of frustration resting
10 Charles E. Maddry— An Autobiography
By the time I was fifteen, I was compelled by force of circumstances
to take the lead in most of the activities of the farm. Under Mother's
direction, I did much of the marketing as well as the peddling of
fruit, vegetables, chickens, wood, and other farm products from house
to house in the near-by village. My mother was not an exception, but
like the other housewives in the community, she carded the cotton,
spun the thread, and knitted all the socks and stockings worn by the
family. As my sisters grew older, they lightened the burden in every
possible way, but the responsibility always remained upon my
mother's shoulders. Mother made our clothes by hand— coats, pants,
diesses, and underwear of all kinds. I was in my early teens before the
family was able to buy a sewing machine or a cook stove.
All of the family except Mother and the smaller children worked
in the fields during crop times. From the time I was fifteen years of
age, I went out to work for the neighboring farmers at harvest time
and during rush seasons. In the summer I worked in the tobacco fields
cutting, housing, and curing tobacco. In the winter when the snow
was not too deep, I cut cord wood. In the late fall, I cut the winter's
supply of fire wood for several of the older people in the community
who were unable to cut their own. The current price for this labor
was forty cents a day and board.
One of the neighbors had the contract for supplying a part of the
fuel for the little wood-burning engine that hauled the freight and
passengers over the University railroad which ran the ten miles from
Chapel Hill to University Station on the main line of the Richmond
and Danville Railway. He paid fifty cents a cord for the cutting of this
wood, and the worker boarded himself. The long slender pines were
felled, cut into two-foot lengths, split, and put into cords two feet
high and sixteen feet long. No one had ever heard of an eight-hour
day in 1890. If I worked hard from sunrise to sunset, I could cut and
put up a cord of wood— all for fifty cents.
After "laying by" the crop in the summer of 1893, at seventeen I
secured a job as section hand on the University branch of the Rich-
mond and Danville Railway. The section master was Cad R. Williams
of Chapel Hill. He was a considerate Christian gentleman, always
treating the men under him with justice tempered with kindness.
He died in 1953 at an advanced age. He had been an active and useful
deacon in the Carrboro Baptist Church for many years. He was my
life-long friend from the day I went to work under him, fifty-six
Early Years 11
Religious Influences in Early Childhood
Eno Baptist Church, organized by Elders Samuel Harris and Rubin
Pickett, was constitued in 1773 and for seventy-five years was a
flourishing and influential body. Elder John McCabe was the first
pastor. The tide of immigration flowing into Granville and Orange
Counties prior to the Revolution from the eastern counties of Virginia,
especially Isle of Wight, Surry, and Northampton Counties, swelled
the church membership at Eno to imposing proportions.
The "arms" or daughters that went out from Eno, the old mother
church, around 1862, became strong, missionary churches. They all
espoused the cause of missions and progress and aligned themselves
with the newly-organized Baptist State Convention in 1830. They
have grown and prospered through the one hundred and twenty
years since the split took place. Eno, the mother church, which cast
her lot with the anti-missionary group of Baptist churches, is only
a pathetic memory.
"Patterson's Meeting House" was an "arm" of the Eno Church and
later became known as Mount Moriah Baptist Church. It was located
some five miles northeast of our home on the Chapel Hill— Oxford
highway. The church was organized in 1823 by Elders Fairhill and
Farthing, "by order of the Eno Church."
Before 1850, the Methodists in Chapel Hill belonged to the Orange
Methodist Church congregation, a flourishing and influential group.
In the decade of the 1850's, a Methodist church was organized in
Chapel Hill, and the members who lived in town took their church
membership into the new village church.
Owing to the fact the Mount Moriah Baptist Church, the home
church of the Maddry family for three generations, was five miles
distant over roads that were often impassable for six months in the
year, the children attended Sunday school at Orange Methodist
Church. For some years, Grandfather Abel Maddry, who always went
to his own church the first Sunday in each month, was at intervals
superintendent of the Sunday school at Orange Church. My father
often taught a class, and later on in my early manhood, I taught
there at various times.
Orange Methodist Church has given to the ministry four native
sons— three Methodists and one Baptist. In the decade of the 1840's,
my great-uncle, Reverend Alexander Gattis, Jr., the youngest son of
Alexander, the Revolutionary patriot and ruling elder in New Hope
12 Charles E. Maddry— An Autobiography
Presbyterian Church, was prominent in the work of the North Car-
olina Methodist Conference.
The most distinguished son of Orange Methodist Church was the
Reverend Samuel B. Turrentine, who graduated from the University
of North Carolina in the class of 1884 and became pastor of several
of the largest Methodist churches in the state. The crowning of his
long ministry was his work as president of Greensboro College, a
historic and excellent Methodist school for women, located in Greens-
boro, North Carolina.
Our church at Mount Moriah had preaching only once a month.
The other Sundays we attended Orange Church, New Hope, and
other near-by churches. One by one, as the children were converted,
they went with my father to Mount Moriah Baptist Church.
My mother's people were Methodists. On the Gattis side of the
family, they were Presbyterians. My grandmother, Jane Gattis Mad-
dry, wife of Abel Maddry, was a Presbyterian for some time after they
were married. She then voluntarily joined the church at Mount
Moriah with my grandfather. When I was five or six years old, my
mother was converted at Orange Methodist Church and offered her-
self for membership in this congregation. When the pastor, going
down the line of converts, asked Mother how she wanted to be
baptized, she said, "By immersion." The pastor was nonplussed for the
moment but recovered himself and said, "All right, Sister Maddry,
we'll appoint a time and come out and baptize you." Nothing further
was heard of the matter of Mother's baptism for several months. One
day Father came back from Chapel Hill and said to Mother, "I saw
your pastor, and he said for you to bring Brother Gattis ( a steward )
with you to Old Field Creek next Thursday afternoon, and he will
baptize you." Mother said nothing as she went about her work. Before
the day appointed for her baptism by the Methodist pastor, I heard
her say to Father, "If they're ashamed to baptize me on Sunday
when the neighbors can come and see the baptism, I'll go with you
to Mount Moriah where they're not ashamed to baptize me."
It went along this way for some years; I do not know exactly
how long, but on the fourth Sunday in September, 1887, Mother and
I were baptized at the same time by Reverend John C. Hocutt in
Patterson's Mill, New Hope Creek, near Mount Moriah Baptist
Church. I was eleven years old. I remember that it was a cold, chilly
day. A great throng of people gathered on the sloping hillside over-
looking the mill pond, and the pastor baptized four candidates.
Early Years 13
After the baptism, we repaired to the church, and after the sermon,
the church observed the Lord's Supper. I remember my grandfather
passing the elements. Father and Grandfather, along with all the
church members, came down the line, as they did in the old days,
extending the right hand of fellowship to all new members.
New Hope Presbyterian Church, organized about 1760, was five
miles north from my home on the Hillsboro road. It was surrounded
by a great forest. The first building was of logs and octagonal in
shape. There were port holes for rifle fire in the event of Indian
attacks. In those early days the congregation would meet and stack
their guns outside. Some of the members would be left on guard to
give warning of attack from the Indians. For one hundred and ninety
years this church has been a very active and vigorous religious force
in the life of south Orange County.
In my boyhood we often attended services at New Hope. Their
ministers were always cultured and well trained for the work of the
ministry. They often lacked the evangelistic fervor and emotional
appeal of the Methodist and Baptist ministers of the day, but they
were well versed in the teaching of the Scriptures.
For more than fifty years after the founding of the University,
there was no Presbyterian church in Chapel Hill. The members of
this faith in the village affiliated with the church at New Hope,
eight miles away. Dr. James Phillips, noted teacher in the University
and the father of Mrs. Cornelia Phillips Spencer, was for many years
a leading member of this church and pastor for a generation.
In his boyhood my father often attended this church. There was
no means of heating the churches in those early days before the Civil
War. The people attended the services faithfully in all sorts of weather
and sat patiently through the service, which often lasted for two hours.
Dr. Phillips in the "long prayer" often held forth for forty minutes
(the congregation standing), and the sermon that followed always
went on beyond an hour. Dr. Charles Phillips, son of the long-time
pastor and a noted teacher in the University, was also pastor at New
Hope for many years.
In addition to these churches of my boyhood, the Hardshell Baptists
had occasional preaching at a near-by schoolhouse, known as Piney
Mountain. There were several Hardshell families in this community.
The pastor would come out from Durham and preach once a month in
the afternoon. He was usually a carpenter, farmer, or a mechanic.
None of their pastors gave all their time to the ministry. As a rule
14 Charles E. Maddry— An Autobiography
they were uneducated men and received no stated salary from their
congregations. They were rigid Calvinists and believed that they
were the one and only true church. They preached in a sing-song
tone of voice, the "holy tone," a practice they continue even to the
present day. Very few of the young people join the Hardshell churches
until later in life. One must have a tremendous religious experience,
a vision, or a dream, before he can be admitted to a Hardshell church.
Baptist churches in my boyhood gave strict attention to the conduct
of the membership. They met once a month, on Saturday, for worship
and purposes of discipline. There was very little business to attend
to except the matter of inquiring into the conduct of the church family
during the previous month. The pastor would preach for an hour or
more, and then call the church into conference. If the pastor was
absent, the leading deacon would read the Scripture, comment
thereon, lead in prayer, and call the church into conference. Many
churches required that every male member should attend and answer
roll call every three months or be subject to discipline. The female
members were required to attend and answer roll call only once a
year. Our church had several hundred members. It was quite a task
to call the roll and check the answer of each individual as to his
church attendance. When about sixteen years of age, I was cited to
the church for non-attendance. After explaining that my father com-
pelled me to stay home and plow following a good rain while the land
was "in season," the pastor, who was moderator, said, "The young
brother is excused." I felt as if I had escaped a term in the peniten-
Drunkenness was considered wholly unbecoming in the conduct of
a church member. After being warned several times, the member was
excluded from the fellowship of the church if he repeated the offense.
It was considered a great disgrace to be "turned out" of the church
for drunkenness. It was the duty of the members of the church,
especially the deacons, to report all matters of misconduct on the
part of the membership. Sometimes a church trial would last for
months before it was finished.
Most of the country churches in my boyhood had Sunday schools.
A few of the pious elders of the church, men and women, met with
the young people and children and conducted a Sunday school, doing
the best they could to teach them the Word of God. A great majority
of the church members did not attend the Sunday school. A literature
of sorts could be had from the publishing houses of some of the
Early Years 15
denominations, but the lesson helps of those early days were very
poor and inadequate. The Bible was the main text book. Faithful men
and women explained to the boys and girls the Word of God and the
plan of salvation. Many of the older members of the church were well
grounded in the Scriptures. They knew the fundamentals of salvation,
and they loved young people. Some of them were devoted teachers,
and with little to assist them in the way of class rooms and literature,
they were faithful in teaching the Sunday school pupils.
There were no organizations in the church for the training of the
young people in those days. Sometimes during the summer months,
led by a faithful deacon appointed by the church, the young people
would have a prayer meeting on Sunday evening. There were always
some carping critics in our church who did not believe that the
church house ought to be used for meetings of the young people
because they were afraid that something would be done that was
unseemly or disorderly. However, to the credit of our pastor and
church, they were willing to designate one deacon to meet with us
and give general direction and supervision to our efforts to secure
training in the matter of conducting public meetings, speaking, and
leading in prayer. The meetings, of course, were largely social. The
young people had no other outlet for their activities and no other
place of meeting for social intercourse save in the young people's
prayer meeting, the Sunday school, or at the church meeting.
A Discovery and a Decision
One day est January, 1894, when there was snow on the ground, I
was splitting pine logs in a new piece of ground we were clearing
for tobacco. My younger brother came to the "new ground" with a
message from Mother saying that a schoolteacher had come to see my
father, who was then chairman of the local school committee of the
Strain school district. Since Father was away from home, the visitor
wanted to see me. I quit my work and went to see what he wanted.
The stranger introduced himself as J. P. Canaday, a student who
had come up from Johnston County to study in the University. He
explained that he was a teacher in his home county and had entered
the University with the purpose of preparing himself to do better work
in his chosen calling. He explained further that he had a wife and
three small children, and that since his funds were being exhausted,
he was forced to leave the University and seek employment to support
his family. As it was mid-winter, the public schools of his native
county were already supplied with teachers, and he was seeking a
vacancy in some school in Orange County. It had come to his attention
that the Strain school district had been unable to secure a teacher for
the two and one-half months' term.
He had already seen one of the school committeemen and had
been told that the committee had about decided to postpone the
school session until the next summer. He wanted to urge me to in-
tercede with my father to give him the school and suggested that
since it was two months before "plow time," he would be happy to
have me under his instruction for that time. I explained that I was
eighteen years of age and did not propose to attend school any more.
He asserted with confidence that if he secured the school, he would
be delighted to have me as one of his students, and that he believed
I would be interested in his method of instruction and would find
A Discovery and a Decision 17
I confess that I was impressed with the man and convinced by
his confident assurance that it was not too late for me to go to school
and secure an education. His earnest sincerity and gentle spirit won
my heart, and in thirty minutes I was his willing disciple. When he
left, I had pledged him my loyalty and support in his efforts to secure
The outcome of the matter was that a majority of the committee
voted to give Mr. Canaday the school. All my plans were changed.
I decided to enter school and pursue further the undertaking of trying
to prepare myself for something in life beyond the occupation of rail
splitter and small farmer.
I realize now, after sixty years, that this seemingly casual meeting
with a stranger on that winter morning was a crucial moment of my
life. I was to discover that the six weeks spent under his instruction
would mean more to me than all I had received in the haphazard
years of school I had attended since I was five years of age.
Mr. Canaday 's method of teaching, was different from that of any
teacher I had ever known. Secondary with him were the formal
lessons in the few inadequate text books we possessed. His fund
of information and knowledge appeared to be unlimited. Interesting
and inspiring, he seemed to "speak with authority."
He organized a debating society, and once a week he had speeches
and recitations by his pupils. Once each day he had everyone lay
aside books, and he made a talk on some historic event or described
to us some battle, encouraging us to ask questions and make com-
ments. He outlined some of the great books in literature and recited
for us some of the great poems of the English world. He seemed
never to tire, and the well-spring of his inspiration never ran dry.
It mattered not that his pupils were ignorant, poor, and uninspiring;
he was always the same fascinating, uplifting personality, pouring out
his best to the small group who gathered about him in that bare log
I was one of the "big boys" in school. One day toward the close of
that first session we took a walk in the oak forest beyond the spring.
When we turned to go back to the schoolhouse, he stopped and faced
me suddenly with this startling question: "What are you going to do
with your life?" I was dumb and silent for a moment, but when I
could find my voice, I replied that I supposed I would farm a few
acres of rocky Orange County soil just as my fathers had done for a
hundred and fifty years since they first found their way from Scotland
18 Charles E. Maddry— An Autobiography
and settled on Presswood Creek. He asked why I did not prepare my-
self for entrance into the University, located less than three miles
away. I was startled at the suggestion. All my life I had heard the
ringing of the University bell calling the students to classes every
hour of the day, but this was the first time anyone had ever suggested
that the University existed for such as I.
Finally, I managed to stammer, in my surprise, that I was already
a grown man, that I lacked money or influence, and that I could
never prepare for entrance into the University. I said, furthermore,
that this great institution was for the rich and important of the state
and was far beyond my dreams or even the wildest flight of my
imagination. To all of this my teacher replied that it was not a wild
dream but wholly within the realm of the possible. His eyes seemed
to pierce my soul as he said, "You can do it. You have something in
you. I have been watching you these weeks and studying your
possibilities. I am convinced that God has something great in store for
you— something far beyond anything you have ever dreamed. You can
do it. There is no difficulty that cannot be overcome if only you will
give yourself to the undertaking with all your mind and soul and
I was silent as we made our way back to the schoolhouse. This
little man had profoundly stirred my soul and kindled my imagination.
He had lighted a flame in me that has never gone out. Henceforth
life held new meaning, for from that hour a new purpose dominated
my life. He was the first ever to tell me that there was something
in my life worth striving for and that God is always ready to help
those who try to help themselves.
This was truly a revolutionary hour. As I followed the winding
mountain path along the banks of Presswood Creek to my home that
afternoon, new dreams were born in my soul. New ambitions and
enthusiasms took possession of my being. This good Barnabas, full
of faith and the Holy Spirit, had found me and set my feet in a
In the spring of 1896 I was twenty years of age. After finishing
"laying by" the crops, my father informed me that he was "setting
me free" and that he would give me the rest of my time until I was
twenty-one years of age. He expressed the hope that I would be able
to go to school but said that he was then unable to help me to that
end. I replied that I was going to go to school if there were any
possible way to finance the undertaking.
A Discovery and a Decision 19
Just at that time I read an announcement in the Chapel Hill News
that Professor J. W. Canada of Summerfield, Guilford County, North
Carolina, was going to open a preparatory school in Chapel Hill
around September the first. I immediately wrote Mr. Canada telling
him of my desire to enter his school to prepare for the University.
I had a letter from him in a few days saying that he would come to
see me. About the middle of July Mr. Canada came out, and we talked
over the possibility of entering his school in September. I told him
frankly that I had no money and would have to work my way. He
offered to give me my tuition, which amounted to $3.00 per month,
if I would cut the wood and make the fires in some ten or twelve
stoves and fireplaces in the old dwelling house that he had rented
for the school building. I accepted his offer and on the first of Sep-
tember entered the school. It was one of many preparatory schools
that through the years had sprung up in Chapel Hill and flourished
for a season and then passed away. However, in the providence of
God, this school came at the right time for me.
I walked three miles to the village every day, leaving my home
about sunup or earlier, and cut wood until the bell rang for school
at 9:00 o'clock. In the afternoon from 4:00 until 6:00 I cut wood again
and then walked three miles to my home. I was a grown man, long
and lank. I entered classes with boys and gills who were twelve and
fourteen years of age. The first year I took subjects such as grammar,
arithmetic, North Carolina history, United States history, physiology,
and physics, often sitting up until midnight studying by the dim
light of an oil lamp. My mother prepared my lunch of whatever
happened to be at hand, and sometimes it was very poor and skimpy.
I felt awkward and greatly humiliated to have to go into the classes
of small boys and girls and start at the very bottom.
However, there was one teacher in the school, Mrs. Sally Mae
Wilson, of Virginia, who was like a mother to me. She was a great
person with a wonderful gift of inspiring ambitious students to get
an education. She helped me in every way, correcting my faults
privately and making suggestions concerning all matters of conduct,
social etiquette, personal appearance, and habits of study. She seemed
to take a special delight in helping me overcome my many handicaps
as I struggled toward preparation for the University. I was a very
unpromising specimen, and I am sure that her patience was often
tried. However, I was ambitious to learn and had an insatiable thirst
for knowledge. One thing in my favor was that I had read a great
20 Charles E. Maddry— An Autobiography
deal of history. As a boy, I had read all the books in the community
and ranged far and wide borrowing books and reading everything
I could find. Of course, there had been no system or method in my
reading, but I had read widely, and I found that this gave me an
advantage over the smaller boys and girls in my classes. In a few
months I began to write and found that I could master new subjects.
I had never seen a Latin book until I entered preparatory school and,
in fact, did not know that such things as dead languages could be
studied in modern schools. I went through the courses offered by the
school in two years, doing the work usually requiring four years. I
graduated in the spring of 1898 with a certificate of entrance to the
University witii the exception of Latin. I had to go back to this high
school three times a week during die first year at the University
to take Latin. A new world had opened to me, and I entered it with
eagerness and enthusiasm.
Some quick, alert, self-confident fellows made good money during
the summer months selling stereoscopes and pictures. I was wholly
on my own and was compelled to accept any honorable employment
I could find. A representative of one of the big national companies
came to the University in the spring of 1898 to engage and train
prospective agents. Having finished high school in May, I signed up,
along with a number of others, to take the brief and intensive training
course offered for salesmen. The representative knew his business.
He had an attractive and engaging personality and easily persuaded
us that the people out in the rural areas were ready and anxious
to buy pictures. The harvest was ripe and wasting for the lack of
reapers, and we were to go out with joy and enthusiasm to bring in
the golden grain! The agent gave us intensive training in the art and
technique of picture salesmanship. The approach, getting into the
home, sensing the member of the household who was yearning to
buy pictures— these points were all explained.
It seemed so thrilling and easy! There was to be no more worry
in the fall about money for entrance fees, books, board, or other
college expenses! There was plenty to be had in the picture business!
Three months were ahead— June, July, and August— in which to reap
the golden harvest awaiting eager and enthusiastic men out there
among the natives! I was assigned the territory of Wake County, out-
side Raleigh. Early in June, widi a pony and road cart borrowed from
my father, I made my way to Auburn in eastern Wake County. On a
lovely June morning, I began my career as a picture salesman.
A Discovery and a Decision 21
It was the busy season on the farm. Everybody who was big
enough to work was busy with household duties or was in the cotton
and tobacco fields. Housewives were engaged in the preparation of
dinner or with the week's washing. I soon found that peddlers, book
agents, fruit tree agents, and picture agents were unwelcome visitors
to farm homes on a Monday morning in June!
Before nightfall, it began to dawn on me that the farmers of Wake
County were not as eager for stereoscopic pictures of current heroes
and great works of art as the agent who trained us had made us
believe. By the end of the first week the bitter truth began to
penetrate— not only was I in the wrong business, but I was a dismal
failure as a picture salesman. My small stock of money was soon gone,
and it became increasingly difficult to find a place that would give
me shelter for the night. Crackers and cheese purchased at country
stores usually satisfied my hunger for lunch. The pony was put on
scant rations, also.
Twenty miles east of Raleigh, hungry, tired, and wholly discour-
aged one afternoon, I tried in vain for several miles along the highway
to find a home for the night. It was the same every where— the threshers
were expected, the baby was sick, or the man of the house was away
from home. At some houses the simple statement sufficed: "We never
take in agents and peddlers."
The shadows of twilight were falling when I came to a beautiful
country home. I had been told along the way, "Mr. Needham Jones
fives up the road. Perhaps he would take you in." I hitched my pony
at the gate, and with diffidence made my way to the front porch. A
fine looking man, obviously a gentleman farmer, and his well-dressed,
good-looking wife were sitting on the porch. They greeted me cor-
dially and invited me in. I gave them my name, stated my business,
and asked for a night's lodging. I was given a gracious welcome and
assured that they would be pleased to have me as a guest for the night.
A servant took my horse, and I was shown to the guest room. Soon
a maid brought me a pitcher of iced water, and I was told that the
supper bell would ring in a few minutes. The supper was excellent
and bountiful; the welcome was genuine and gracious.
As I went to sleep that night, just one thought troubled me:
"Suppose Mr. Jones should charge me for the night's lodging! How
much would it be?" Any amount above a dollar would wipe out my
operating capital! It was with apprehension that I asked him next
morning how much I owed. To my great relief, he replied that he was
22 Charles E. Maddry— An Autobiography
glad to have me and that there was no thought of any charge! He
invited me to come again at any time and assured me that there would
always be a welcome awaiting me.
Thinking that perhaps I would have better success in western
Wake County, I transferred my operations to Apex and the section
around Olive's Chapel, but there I found the same conditions prevail-
ing. The farmers were busy with their work and wholly disinclined
to invest in stereoscopes and pictures. One night it looked very much
as if I were going to be compelled to sleep in a straw stack when
Mr. Billy Sears, a tobacco planter, took me in and gave me a night's
Realizing that I was a complete failure as a salesman, I decided
to give up the picture business. In the latter part of June I went
back over the same territory to deliver the few orders I had sold.
Unable to secure the pony and cart for this second trip, I went to
Auburn by train. The weather was very hot, and before the week
was out, my feet were blistered and walking was agony. The orders I
had taken were filled, and I was able to settle fully with the company.
There was enough left over to buy a railroad ticket to Durham, where
I found friends and a job more nearly commensurate with my ability.
Mother did my laundry at home each week and sent it the twelve
miles by someone coming to market. Week by week, as the days
slipped by, I dreamed of what was drawing nearer and nearer— the
day when I would enter the University. I laid aside four dollars
every week toward the fund necessary for entrance fees and books.
Then came the great temptation. The Spanish-American War was
in full blast in the summer of 1898. A volunteer company from Dur-
ham was being organized. Enthusiasm was running high, and my
first cousin, J. Frank Maddry, volunteered. Since he was a newspaper
man, there was much in the papers concerning the bravery and
gallantry of the Durham Company. Fear was widespread that the
war would be over before the Durham Company could reach Cuba
and strike a powerful and decisive blow for the downtrodden people
so long oppressed by the cruel Spaniards!
I was sorely tempted to join up with these crusaders for freedom,
although I knew that Mother would bitterly oppose my plans if
she heard of them. She had lived through the horrors of one war
and the blight of reconstruction which followed; she had lived for
thirty years with a sick and defeated ex-soldier of that unnecessary
and unfortunate struggle. When I went home for a brief visit one
A Discovery and a Decision 23
Sunday, she reminded me that for years I had been striving and
planning for the day when I could enter the University. That day,
long anticipated, was just a month away. If I turned aside now, the
one chance of a lifetime would be gone for me. In all probability I
would be killed, or if I did come back, my health might be ruined
and I would spend a miserable lifetime in regret that I had thrown
away my one great opportunity.
Somehow, in the light of Mother's entreaties and determined
opposition, the glamor and glory that seemed to await me in Cuba
began to take on a pale and sickly hue. Before going back to Durham
that evening, I had given her my sacred promise that I would let
the Durham Company get along the best they could without my help.
On September 1, I gave up my job, settled my debts, bought some
badly needed clothing, and proceeded to Chapel Hill to enter the
University. When all necessary items had been paid, I found to my
consternation that I had one ten dollar bill left from all my summer's
I applied to the faculty committee which had supervision of
Commons Hall for a waiter's job. About fifteen men were given their
board of eight dollars per month for waiting on ten men each. The
work was light, and the jobs were much sought after. I failed to
get the appointment because the committee understood that, if nec-
essary, I could walk the three miles each way daily to my father's
However, the faculty decided that walking six miles daily would
give me ample exercise, so I was excused from paying the gymnasium
fee. The total entrance fees that must be paid amounted to $13.25, and
I had only $10.00. Where the remainder was to come from I did not
On the day appointed for the registration of freshmen, I walked
over to the University and hung around the offices in the South
Building all day watching the students register. Late in the evening,
I made my way with slow steps and a heavy heart three miles over
the hills to my old home. Early next day I was back again guarding
with care my ten dollars and a certificate from the Canada High
School entitling me to enter the freshman class. Finally late in the
day, with a growing sense of despair, I left the campus and made
my way to the village, stopping at the corner of Franklin and Hen-
derson streets to greet some friends.
Presently an elderly farmer who had married my father's first
24 Charles E. Maddry— An Autobiography
cousin came along driving his team of mules. He lived east of town
on the Raleigh Road, and in slack times on the farm he hauled cord
wood to the members of the faculty and townspeople. He greeted me
in his gruff, hearty way, inquiring whether I had entered the Univer-
sity. I told him I did not have enough money for the payment of
the entrance fees and had about decided to give up the idea of school.
He asked me how much I had and how much was required for
entrance fees; when I gave him the information requested, he took
out a rusty leather pocket book and handed me five dollars with the
injunction to pay it back as soon as I could.
"I haven't got much education," said he, "but I want you to go to
the University and make something of yourself. Go and register in
the morning, and get down to work." He drew the reins over his
mules and was gone.
All the joy bells of heaven were ringing in my soul that evening
as I made my way out to Presswood Creek. When the Registrar's
Office opened next morning, I was on hand, eager to enter the door
of challenge and opportunity that had swung open to me.
In 1898 all University buildings, including offices, classrooms, and
dormitories, were heated with wood or coal in individual fireplaces
or stoves. There was a central yard where all wood was sawed into
proper lengths for stove or fireplace. The wood saw was powered with
a small upright engine. J. Edward Latta, an associate of Professor
J. W. Gore in the Department of Physics was in charge of the light
plant and wood yard. Since Mr. Latta employed some six or eight
husky country boys as helpers around the wood saw, I secured a
regular job which paid ten cents per hour. My job was to take the
cut-off blocks from the saw and throw them on the heap of "long
wood or short wood" as the case might be. Ordinarily we worked
from two-thirty until dark, but if the weather was cold and the
demands for wood heavy, the lights were turned on under the wood-
shed, and we worked until seven o'clock. Though the work was hard
and the pay small, food was cheap, and a little money went a long
way. I did my own cooking, and in the spring of 1899, after work, I
would often go by Sparrow's butcher shop and buy a pound of beef
liver for ten cents.
In February, 1899, came a deep snow, which began at one o'clock
on Saturday and continued until Tuesday noon. All classes in the
University were suspended for a week, for it was bitterly cold, and
the snow was deep. The wood gave out, and the students had trouble
A Discovery and a Decision 25
keeping warm. Professor Gore, Chairman of the Faculty Committee
on Power and Heating, called his "saw boys" together and offered
us the amazing wage of twenty cents per hour! We accepted and for
ten days were in big money!
Having settled the matter of a "call" to the ministry, I felt it was
high time to begin activities in that direction. Since I was already
twenty-three years old, I decided to accept every opportunity that
came my way to teach in Sunday school or lead prayer meeting. I
worked in the union services at Carrboro, taught in the Sunday school
at Orange Church, and sang in the choir of the village Baptist Church.
Because the University YMCA was in desperate financial straits,
no one would accept the position of treasurer. Allen Barwick, always
the gracious and charming gentleman, was president of the "Y."
He persuaded me that I had been set apart in a peculiar way to pull
the "Y" out of its financial difficulties and thus render an outstanding
service to the religious life of the University. Accepting the task of
treasurer, I did what could be done to improve a bad situation. In my
junior year, I was elected president of a rejuvenated YMCA.
At the turn of the century, the two literary societies, the Dialectic
and Philanthropic, still played a major role in the life of the school.
Debating was a popular pastime, and intense interest was taken in
all inter-society and inter-collegiate contests. After joining the "Di"
Society at the first meeting of the session of 1898, I never missed an
opportunity of trying to learn something of the art of thinking and
of giving expression to my thoughts to any group who would listen.
All freshmen were excused from speaking the first night they were
on duty. I refused to accept the customary favor extended freshmen,
and to the disgust of many upperclassmen who were interested only
in an early adjournment, I insisted on making my speech in turn.
Because of debt and lack of necessaiy funds, I was compelled to
drop out of school at the close of the fall term of my senior year. After
a year of hard work as county school superintendent and pastor
of five churches, I re-entered on January 1 as a member of the
class of 1903.
The work of the spring term was very heavy. I maintained an office
in the County Court House in Hillsboro, twelve miles away, and went
over on Friday nights to attend to school matters on Saturday. I
secured a supply for some of the churches of the field until I finished
the University in June. I carried on the church work at Hillsboro and
near-by Mars Hill, preaching three times each month.
26 Charles E. Maddry— An Autobiography
I had taken all the work offered by Professor Horace H. Williams,
Professor of Philosophy, including his famous course in logic. His
course in comparative religions was especially stimulating and help-
ful, and part of this course was a discriminating and critical study
of the Prophet Isaiah. Under the guidance of Mr. Williams I wrote
my graduating thesis on the work of this great Messianic prophet
under the title, "The Work of the Prophet in the Religious Life."
Early in the spring term, I decided to enter the contest for the
Mangum Medal in Oratory, the most coveted honor offered by the
University in that day. The preliminary contest before a committee
of the faculty was open to any member of the senior class. The four
best speakers were selected to represent the class on commencement
day. The winner in the final contest was awarded the coveted medal.
Early in April the committee announced that the preliminary con-
test would take place on the following Saturday at ten o'clock. I was
greatly disappointed because I was compelled to be in the office in
Hillsboro every Saturday, attending to school matters. The committee,
learning of my desire to enter the contest, generously offered to hold
the final decision as to the winners until Monday and give me a
chance to be heard. I appeared before the committee, and when the
names of the winners were posted on the bulletin board, my name
appeared fourth on the list.
Immediately the all-absorbing question was the topic of my speech.
Had I made a wise selection? The faculty committee seemed to think
so, but two of my teachers and best friends said that I could not win
with the speech made before the committee.
Mr. Williams urged me to reshape my thesis on Isaiah and assured
me that it would be a winner. Dr. Thomas Hume, head of the Depart-
ment of English, said that I could not win with Isaiah, but that victory
would be mine if I would speak on "The Literary Value of the Psalms
of David," this being the gist of a course I had taken under him in
advanced English. This did not click with me any more than did
Professor Williams' Isaiah.
During the year spent in rural school work in Orange County, I
had become greatly interested in and concerned over the terrible
lack of adequate schools for the country boys and girls. I saw that
on the whole the farmers were far more interested in improving the
breed of their hogs, cows, and mules than they were in improving
the minds of their boys and girls. When I saw the youth of this back-
ward rural county going through the same hard and bitter experience
A Discovery and a Decision 27
through which I had passed, I was mightily moved. There was a
speech simmering and boiling in my soul that sooner or later must
be made. Like the Psalmist, "My heart was hot within me; while I
was musing the fire burned: then spake I with my tongue." Going
apart one day, in three hours I wrote a speech on "The Duty of the
Southland to the Country Boy." Though it was somewhat sophomoric,
grandiose, and lacking in substance, it was my very own. I knew I
could speak it with conviction and sincerity.
That night I went down to see "Old Horace," as all his boys lovingly
called him. I told him I had been having trouble with Isaiah and
suggested that he let me read him the winning speech I had written
that morning. He fixed himself to hear, and I proceeded to read with
satisfaction and confidence. When I had finished reading, he looked
at the blank wall for some time and then turned to me with the
melancholy look of profound sorrow for which he was famous and
said, "Mr. Maddry, you will never win anything with that speech."
I went away with leaden feet.
Nearing the campus, the thought suddenly flashed into my mind:
"Why not go and see Dr. Smith, your English teacher, and get his
advice? I crossed the street to the fraternity house where he lived.
Answering my knock he called out in his jovial voice, "Come in!"
I found him in dressing gown and slippers smoking his pipe and
reading a book, his feet propped up on his desk.
"Sit down, Mr. Maddry," he said. "What can I do for you?"
In a few words I told him of my toils and sorrows in the speech-
making line, together with the devastating verdict of "Old Horace."
I then requested that he hear my speech and give me his candid
opinion of the whole matter. After I had finished the reading, he
suggested only one change. In a number of places, I had spoken of
the "Southland" for the "South." "Just leave off the land,' " said he,
"and say the 'South.' Go back to your room and learn that speech until
you can say it backwards, and you will win the medal!"
Walking on air with my head amid the stars, I went to my room.
At last the day came. We had drawn straws for position on the
team, and I had drawn number four. While I was describing the
poverty and ruin that had come upon the land and the people of
the South at the close of the Civil War, I noticed that Colonel
Killebrew of Tennessee, one of the judges of the contest, was weeping.
He had graduated from the University before the war and had come
back for a reunion of his ex-Confederate comrades. Seeing his emo-
28 Charles E. Maddry— An Autobiography
tional reaction to my speech did not discourage me as to the final
President Venable awarded the diplomas, announced the recipients
of prizes and awards, and announced that the winner of the Mangum
Medal for Oratory was— Charles E. Maddry!
I might say that "Old Horace" never mentioned the matter to me
Teaching and Preaching
I soon found my schedule for the fall term at the University difficult
indeed. From my father's home the daily trip was six miles. After a
few weeks, I realized that some other arrangement for room and board
must be made. Home was overcrowded, and there were too many
mouths to feed, especially in view of the fact that I was no longer
working and contributing to the support of the family.
I arranged to cut firewood for a cousin for my room rent and
boarded wherever I could find work or credit. I managed in various
ways to get through the fall term but could see no hope of staying
on for the spring session. At this critical juncture in my personal
affairs, the committee of Strain's school district offered me the school
for three months. They reported that the county appropriation for
the year was $80, and they would give me the entire sum for teaching
three months! I felt highly honored that I should be invited to teach
my home school! The salary offered— well, it seemed princely to me.
Before giving the committee a final answer, I felt that I must go
into town and talk the matter over with Mrs. Sallie May Wilson, a
teacher in the Canada High School, where I had prepared for the
University. On a Sunday night during the Christmas holidays of 1898,
I went into town for the evening service at the Baptist Church, know-
ing I would find my teacher in her accustomed place in church. On
the walk to the village, I planned and rehearsed my presentation
of the crisis that had come into my life and my decision to leave school
and give up the plan of trying to graduate. I had long dreamed of
studying law and from childhood had felt a desire to get into politics.
The $80 I would make teaching would pay my debts, buy me some
clothes so sorely needed, and enable me to attend the summer session
of law school. Another session of teaching would enable me to finish
the law course and hang out my shingle at the county seat!
The plan was so perfect and the prospect so enticing that the walk
30 Charles E. Maddry— An Autobiography
of three miles to the village was over before I had fully built up
every line of defense in my glittering plan. I walked home from
church with Mrs. Wilson. Before the cozy fire in her little living
room, I found it strangely difficult to unfold my far-reaching and
ambitious plan. Before I proceeded veiy far, I found I had run up
against a determined opposition that I had not anticipated and was
unprepared to meet. As my devoted teacher argued, wept, entreated,
and prayed, somehow the offer to teach the home school did not seem
so flattering, and the life of a lawyer and politician lost much of its
glamor. The question of the ministry was opened afresh, and to my
great surprise she told me of her long-continued interest and in-
creasing prayer that I might be divinely led in my final decision
on this matter of supreme importance. Sometime toward midnight,
after I had given my teacher my solemn promise that I would never
leave the University without first coming to talk the whole matter
over with her, I left.
The next day I sought out the school committee and informed
them that I had decided to remain in the University. To my surprise
and delight, they decided to defer the session until July the first and
offered me the school. Without hesitation, I accepted this offer, and
on January 1, 1899, I went back to my studies.
I began teaching my first public school at Strain's Schoolhouse,
three miles northeast of Chapel Hill, on July 1. Some sixty pupils
were enrolled, ranging in age from five to twenty-one. There were
several grown boys enrolled with whom I had attended school at
this same place. They were generally very co-operative and helpful.
On the first morning as school assembled, I was faced with the
question of whether or not to read the Bible and pray. Most of the
teachers who had gone before me would read something from the
Psalms or Proverbs but would not have a prayer. I felt it was my duty
to have both. There were present grown boys and girls with whom
I had mingled in all the social contacts and activities of the neighbor-
hood. To stand before this group and read the Scriptures and lead
in prayer was a major effort to one who suffered acutely from self-
consciousness. However, I have always been glad that I followed my
better judgment and opened that first day with divine worship.
This session went smoothly and was a moderate success; the patrons
were pleased, and everybody was happy. I learned more than my
pupils did and have always been grateful to a kind Providence that
I had this valuable experience that so richly influenced my life.
Teaching and Preaching 31
Early in September the school closed with a rather pretentious
"exhibition." On the closing night when the committee came in a
group and formally offered me the school for the next summer, I
accepted and thus insured the improvement of my financial situation
and the completion of my course in the University.
The second session seemed to give general satisfaction. I left the
old community with regret, yet with a feeling of pride that I had
taught in the old log house where my father went to school in his
boyhood and where he taught in his young manhood. Here in the
same hallowed spot, I had learned valuable lessons in the long process
of getting an education— a process that was then just beginning.
I first saw the North Carolina Baptist Convention in action in the
fall of 1900 when it met in the First Baptist Church of Raleigh. It
proved to be a historic session. I was a junior at the University and
went as a messenger from the Chapel Hill Baptist Church.
Since this was my first attendance at the meeting of a state conven-
tion, I was tremendously impressed with the proceedings. For the
first time, I saw the leaders among the Baptists of the state, laymen
and preachers. I heard N. B. Broughton, F. B. Hobgood, and John A.
Oates, along with other prominent laymen, little dreaming that one
day I would be Mr. Broughton's pastor. In a rough and tumble debate
on the Biblical Recorder, I heard the young and brilliant editor,
Josiah William Bailey, speak. He clashed with N. B. Broughton, and
before the debate was over, Baylus Cade and J. D. Hufham were
drawn into the fray. It was a battle royal when these two stalwarts
One other incident in this, my first convention stands out as vividly
in memory after the passing of fifty years as if it had been yesterday.
Secretary John E. White resigned to accept the pastorate of the
Second Baptist Church of Atlanta, Georgia. His resignation was
accepted, and a large committee was appointed to nominate a new
secretary. The committee brought in the name of Livingston Johnson,
pastor of the First Church of Greensboro. After he was elected with
unanimity and enthusiasm, President Marsh invited the new secretary
to come to the platform to be presented to the convention. Secretary
Johnson expressed his deep appreciation for the confidence the con-
vention had reposed in him in a few well-chosen words, and he
earnestly entreated all the messengers to pray for him that he might
always be faithful to the trust they had just committed to him. Some-
one then suggested that the convention engage in prayer for the new
32 Charles E. Maddry— An Autobiography
secretary. The further suggestion was made that all who could pos-
sibly do so kneel on the pulpit platform around the newly-elected
secretary, and that the dearly beloved and saintly Henry N. Brown,
pastor of the First Church, Winston, lead the prayer. This was all
done in a spirit of quiet and holy reverence.
It would have seemed wholly beyond the realm of possibility and
entirely in the region of fantasy if anyone had suggested that just
twenty years from that day I would be called to this office of secretary
of the convention by the unanimous vote of my brethren.
In June, 1901, the YMCA Conference of the colleges and uni-
versities of the South met for ten days at Bingham Heights, Asheville,
North Carolina. The University YMCA sent Louis Round Wilson,
S. M. McNeely, J. M. Justice, and Charles E. Maddry as delegates.
It was a memorable gathering of the religious leaders of southern
schools. Here I heard the outstanding leaders and preachers of the
Protestant churches of America. My spiritual life was greatly en-
riched, and my vision of world Christianity was much enlarged.
The Southern Baptist Convention met in Asheville in May, 1902.
I was pastor of five small churches which paid a combined salary of
$430 a year. Tobacco being the main money crop in this section, most
of my salary was paid in the fall. I wanted very much to go to the
convention, but lacking the necessary funds, I gave up the cherished
dream of seeing this great meeting.
Less than a month before the convention, to my surprise, a com-
mittee from my field of churches notified me that they were making
up a purse to defray my expenses to Asheville. This good news brought
much joy to my heart, and I immediately began to prepare for the
memorable trip. In due time, the committee presented me with a
purse of some eighteen dollars for the expenses of the journey.
When I boarded the train in Hillsboro, I met for the first time
Reverend Hight C Moore, pastor of our church at New Bern. Already
he was widely known through the Biblical Recorder as a gifted writer
on Sunday school and scriptural topics. Mr. Moore informed me that
he had engaged a room in a private home in Asheville and would
be glad to share it with me. Thus began a lifelong friendship with
Dr. Moore that has grown closer and more precious through the
years. Four years after that first meeting, in the little church in
Hillsboro, he performed the marriage ceremony which bound me in
wedlock to his wife's first cousin. Some years later he assisted in the
marriage ceremony of our daughter in his home in Nashville.
Charles E. Mad dry while Secretary
of the Foreign Mission Board, 1934
Charles E. Maddry
Charles E. Maddry at Southern
Baptist Theological Seminary, 1906
Teaching and Preaching 33
The sight of so many Baptists in one meeting, and especially the
presence of so many preachers, left an indelible impression on my
mind. A local paper said there were fifteen hundred ministers who
attended the convention. Up to that time it had not occurred to me
that there were so many Baptist preachers in the world!
For me, the crowning thrill of the convention was the matchless
sermon of Dr. George W. Truett at the First Baptist Church on Sunday
morning. I had attended a conference on evangelism earlier, and when
I reached the First Baptist Church at 10:45, every seat was taken, and
the building was filled to the doors. The usher said that the only seat
available was on the pulpit steps among the palms and flowers. I took
the seat offered and looked at the mighty preacher through an opening
in the palms.
Dr. Truett at this time was only thirty-five years of age, but already
his fame as an eloquent preacher had penetrated to every state and
community within the bounds of the Southern Baptist Convention.
It was indeed a thrilling and momentous hour, and the great man
was at his best. It was his first appearance as a preacher before the
people of his native state, and hundreds of them packed the large
church to hear him. Some dozen years before this time, as an ambitious
young mountain boy from Clay County, he had passed through
Asheville on his way to seek wider fields of opportunity in great
Texas. He had now come back to his native hills, already famous
throughout the nation as an eloquent minister of the gospel.
In the evening, at one of the smaller churches, I heard the renowned
Texan, B. H. Carroll, for the first and only time. Those who were
competent to judge in such matters reported that it was a deep and
learned doctrinal discourse. Attending so many sessions of the con-
vention throughout the week, together with the emotional upsurge
of the Truett meeting at the Sunday morning hour, had left me with
little enthusiasm for anything but sleep. After seeing that the great
Carroll was safely launched on his hour and a quarter discourse, I
promptly went to sleep!
In the early days, Baptist churches, in voicing their approval of a
candidate for the ministry, always spoke of the matter officially as
"liberating the young man to exercise his gifts in the ministry." Later,
if the candidate proved himself worthy and demonstrated to the
church and the public generally that he possessed gifts commensurate
with the high calling to which he aspired, he was ordained.
All through the years of my boyhood and young manhood, I heard
34 Charles E. Maddry— An Autobiography
much of a divine call to the ministry. Often the preachers I knew
discoursed from the pulpit on the necessity for an unmistakable,
heavenly call. There was held up before us the call of the Old
Testament heroes and prophets— Abraham, Jacob, Moses, and Isaiah.
As we were led through the New Testament, we saw clearly the
divine hand and heard the irresistible voice calling John the Baptist,
the apostles, Barnabas, and Saul. Especially was great stress laid
upon the conversion and call of Saul of Tarsus.
From the time I professed Christ and joined the church at eleven
until I was twenty-four years of age I was greatly concerned, and
at times deeply troubled, over the question of what I should do in
life. I held such an idealistic and lofty conception of the ministry
that I did not feel that I could ever be woithy to enter upon the duties
of such a sacred calling. When I compared my experience with that
of ministers whom I heard relate their experiences, I knew I had not
been called to the responsibilities of such a high and holy office.
One incident in my boyhood exerted a great influence upon the
decisions of those early days, as well as upon the conduct of all of
my later life. I am not sure of the time, but I think it must have
been soon after I joined the church, that Mother told me how before
I was born, she had prayed and yearned for her third child to be
a boy and for God to make him a preacher. At that time, she was
not openly a professing Christian or a member of the church. I re-
member distinctly, although I was only about five years of age,
Mother making a profession of faith in Christ at a revival meeting
at Old Orange Methodist Church. She had put the younger children,
including myself, on a quilt under the bench; I remember being
awakened by the shouts of the people, seeing the sputtering tallow
candles with which the church was lighted, and hearing the people
say that my mother had been converted. My judgment after all the
years is that Mother was at the time already a believer in Christ, but
that she had never openly confessed her faith until that night.
When I started to high school in the fall of 1896, the old long-
ing to be a preacher came over me afresh, but I kept the matter
locked in my own heart and never breathed to anyone the turmoil
and unrest of my soul over the momentous question of my life's
calling and responsibility.
Finally, I mustered up sufficient courage to talk the matter over
with my pastor, the Reverend J. F. Duffie. Sympathetic and helpful,
he insisted that I allow him to take the matter to the church, asking
Teaching and Preaching 35
that I be "liberated to exercise my gifts in the ministry." I was very
skeptical of possessing any "gifts" in the direction indicated. Being
afflicted with a terrible sense of unworthiness, self-consciousness, and
timidity, I refused for several months to consent to the matter being
brought to the attention of the church.
During the annual revival, as the service was closing one after-
noon, the pastor, without consulting me, announced that the church
would meet the next morning at ten o'clock for a prayer meeting and
added, "Brother Charlie Maddry will lead." This announcement threw
me into a dither of nervous excitement and dread! What was I to
say next morning? I had never attempted to speak in church, and
the very thought of such an undertaking left me in a panic. On
reaching home, I took my Bible and went off to the woods, where I
stretched out on the pine needles under a great tree. I spent two hours
praying as best I knew how for divine help for the ordeal of the next
morning. My mind finally settled on the Isaiah 55. I spent the hours
until twilight, meditating on this great Scripture and praying for
guidance in this crucial hour.
It seemed to me that everyone was present the next morning—
kinfolks, playmates, stern deacons, critical old ladies in split bonnets,
and members of the gang of gay young swains with whom I had
engaged in the semi-forbidden things upon which the church frowned.
My first attempt to lead a church was not, to say the least, a glowing
success. It wound up in an emotional breakdown. After the pastor led
a closing prayer, I slipped out a side door of the church to seek
composure and solitude in the woods adjoining the church grove. The
devil came in a terrific onslaught saying: "That was a ridiculous
spectacle you made of yourself, and you thought you were called to
preach! I would never try again!" I went home in the depths of despair.
My disappointment and sense of frustration and defeat can only be
understood by one who has undergone a like experience.
Some two years passed, and I was nearly half-way through my
sophomore year at the University. On the first Sunday in December,
1899, Father came by the school and took me with him to the
Saturday meeting at Mt. Moriah Church. The pastor preached; then
he called the church together into conference. After all the business
for the month was finished, the pastor came back into the congrega-
tion where I was sitting and said to me, "What have you decided to
do about this matter of surrendering your life to Christ for the
ministry?" When I replied that I had been unable to reach any decision
36 Charles E. Maddry— An Autobiography
in the matter, he said that he was going to request the church to
license me to preach. At once I was in a panic of fear and indecision.
Although I begged him not to mention the matter to the church be-
cause of my uncertainty, he went back to the pulpit and stated to
the church, in substance, that God had called Charlie Maddry to
preach, but that he had been fighting the call for years. He recom-
mended that the church set its seal of approval upon the young man
by "liberating him to exercise his gifts as a candidate for the ministry."
Some brother made a motion that this be done; the motion received
a second and the pastor announced that the matter was open for
discussion. There was a painful pause, and at last elderly Deacon
Nash Cheek, himself a licensed preacher, rose to say that he thought
highly of the young man, that he had known his grandfather and
father before him. He said he had no objection to "liberating" the
young man but that he had never heard him preach and did not
know whether he had any gifts for the ministry. He suggested, there-
fore, that the motion be laid on the table for the present and that
an appointment be made for the young man to preach some Sunday
afternoon in the near future, after which the church could decide
the question upon its merits.
Thinking the time had now come for me to speak, I arose to remind
the church that I had not requested the action contemplated. I re-
minded them further that granting me license to preach would not
make me a preacher unless God had called me, and that withholding
such action would not keep me from being a preacher if this was
God's plan for my life. I added that I had no intention of preaching a
"sample" sermon; and moreover, I had several years ahead of me in
the University and seminary if I should decide to preach. After making
it plain that I was not seeking the action contemplated by the church,
I left the matter in their hands. There was further discussion, the
pastor urging favorable action. Finally Brother Cheek graciously
withdrew his objection, and Mt. Moriah Church "liberated" me to
exercise my "gifts as a candidate for the ministry." One more step
was taken toward my becoming a preacher.
Most of the Negroes with whom I grew up in the Presswood Creek
community were members of Mount Sinai Baptist Church, located
some five miles away on New Hope Creek. Since there was preaching
only once each month at Sinai, the Negroes of the local community
conducted a Sunday school at Rosemary, their district schoolhouse,
which adjoined my father's farm. Shortly after Mount Moriah granted
Teaching and Preaching 37
me license to preach, Rosemary friends sent one of their leaders,
a life-long friend, to search me out at the University for the purpose
of expressing to me their unbounded joy over the good news that I
had decided to enter the ministry. They also expressed the sincere
hope that I would honor the Rosemary congregation with my first
effort to preach the gospel. This friend assured me that they were all
"hongry" to hear me, and I accepted their invitation, setting an early
date for my visit.
On the appointed day, with joy in my heart that the Lord had
provided one congregation who believed in me and wanted to hear
me try to preach, I made my way three miles over the hills to my old
home on Presswood Creek. I looked forward with keen delight to the
privilege of speaking to those friends who were always sympathetic
and responsive. Then this thought came to trouble me: suppose the
news had gone abroad that I was to make my first effort to preach
that day and the kinspeople and neighbors, other than my colored
friends, should be present to hear me! I knew that my style would
be decidedly cramped if my fear proved correct.
I reached home in this troubled state of mind, and found Mother
in the kitchen preparing dinner. Upon my asking the whereabouts
of Father, she said that he was in the "big house" dressing to go
with me to Rosemary. I told her that I was badly scared already and
that I certainly would be in a nervous dither if Father attended the
service. She said she would try to persuade him not to go. In a short
time, she returned to say that, while he was keenly disappointed,
he would forego the pleasure of hearing my first attempt to preach.
The congregation was out in full force. The older men and women
present had been born in slavery and knew the bitterness of human
bondage. They had gone through the terrible days of Reconstruction
and the never-to-be-forgotten terrors of the Ku Klux Klan. Several
of them were Baptist deacons, and the majority owned their own
They gave me a warm and enthusiastic welcome. The presiding
officer conducted the service with dignity and dispatch. The congre-
gation sang several spirituals that had been favorites of mine from
childhood. An opportunity was then given for all to speak who
desired to do so. Most of the older heads spoke words of appreciation
and good wishes for the young visitor.
About twelve o'clock, all minds being at ease, I was presented to
the congregation by the chairman. He reminded the congregation
38 Charles E. Maddry— An Autobiography
that my grandfather, Captain Abel Maddry, had been the unfailing
friend of their fathers during the bitter days of slavery, and that he
had championed their rights in the old days before the war when the
black "servants" were members of Mount Moriah Church along with
the white "masters." He recalled the service Grandfather had ren-
dered the newly-freed black people in 1868 when, as chairman of
the committee from Mount Moriah Church, he had led in the organi-
zation of Mount Sinai Church. He further reminded his audience
of the never-failing friendship of my father for them through all
the years since the home-going of my grandfather.
After expressing my sincere gratitude that these friends of all the
years since childhood had been the first to invite me to speak to them
in my new role as a candidate for the ministry, I reminded them that I
was not yet a preacher and that long years of toil and study lay ahead
before I would be prepared for the work of a full-fledged minister.
I then read the tenth verse of the fourth chapter of Zechariah:
"For who hath despised the day of small things." I simply pointed
out the way in which Divine Providence had seemed to lead me since
childhood. I drew the conclusion that it all clearly indicated that my
desire and purpose to become a minister had the approval of the
Great Head of the Church. I closed with an earnest appeal that these
early and devoted friends bear me up continuously in their prayers,
asking that God would make me humble and worthy preacher of the
gospel of Jesus Christ. The service closed with many devout "aniens."
Thirty-two years after, I was formally invited to come back to
Rosemary for the anniversary of that first sermon. There were five
present who had heard me on the former visit, and one brother even
remembered the text. The singing was glorious, and all present had a
In the old days before the Chapel Hill Baptist Church was organ-
ized, the Baptists of the University village affiliated with the Mount
Carmel Church, located four miles south of Chapel Hill. Dr. William
Hooper, noted scholar and teacher, minister of the Episcopal Church
and professor at the University, was baptized into the fellowship
of Mount Carmel Church by Reverend Patrick W. Dowd in 1831.
He later became president of Wake Forest College.
On Friday evening before the first Sunday in June, 1900, Reverend
W. D. Bostick sought me out at the University and said that he was
called away for a funeral and wanted me to preach for him at Mount
Carmel Sunday morning. I tried in every way to get out of the assign-
Teaching and Preaching 39
ment, but the pastor said that he had tried every possibility and that
I was his last hope. I finally consented to go. He informed me that
Professor J. W. Gore, who was a member of the church at Mount
Carmel, would lend me his horse and two-seated phaeton for the
trip. The congregation was small. The sermon was noted neither for
substance or homiletic merit, but I did the best I could. The people
were appreciative and considerate.
On the first Sunday in July, the pastor was again called away and
sent me in his place. Perhaps I did a little better on this second trip.
After the service was over, a small group of men gathered about me
in the church yard. One of the leading members of the church, a
man who was reputed to be "well fixed" in material things, said,
"Brethren, this young man has supplied our pulpit for two months.
We ought not to allow him to go away without paying him a small
Reaching into his pocket, he brought out a long, rusty-looking
leather bag of a purse, snapped it open, fished among the bills and
silver dollars, and brought forth a quarter of a dollar. Holding out
his hand to the half-dozen men in the circle, he said, "Come on,
brethren. Let's give the young brother at least a small token of our
The men began to feel in their pockets and search their clothes,
but little was forthcoming. I never heard of so many men in one
group who said they had changed clothes that morning and left
their purses at home! Finally, one brother found ten cents and another
found a nickel. The prominent brother presented me with forty
cents and expressed his regret that the offering was not larger. I
protested that I did not expect anything, but I accepted the gift. It
was the first money I ever received for preaching— forty cents for
two sermons! I went on my way certain that I had been overpaid.
During the two years of my stay in the University, I was actively
affiliated with the Baptist church of the village. I attended Sunday
school and prayer meeting and sang in the choir. The pastor at this
time was the noted ex-Confederate chaplain and "unreconstructed
rebel," Dr. J. William Jones of Virginia.
In July, 1901, just after I had been elected County Superintendent
of Schools, the pastor, who was going on his vacation, invited me
to supply the pulpit for two Sunday mornings during his absence.
Dr. Jones said that my many friends in the village were eager to hear
me preach and insisted that I give them this opportunity.
40 Charles E. Maddry— An Autobiography
I had known everybody in the community from childhood. Many
relatives were in the town and surrounding country. I had spent
two years in high school with the children and young people of the
village. To the business people and housewives I was plain "Charlie
Maddry," the awkward, overgrown country boy who sold produce
and firewood to the folk of the town. Now it was rumored that I
had been "called" to preach and was going to make my first appear-
ance in the new role at the Baptist church the next Sunday morning.
During the week I suffered much doubt as to what I should say
in my first sermon to my home folk. I remembered what Jesus had
said about the honor of a prophet among his people and in his own
house. I prayed much and prepared the best I could.
The little church was filled. It seemed to me that everybody was
there. The University summer school students, mainly school-
teachers, came out in considerable numbers; several members of the
faculty were present. I was scared and embarrassed, but whatever I
may have lacked in polish and scriptural insight was counterbalanced
by simple, unpretentious earnestness. The friends were kind and
appreciative. One more great hurdle had been surmounted in my
struggle to become a minister; I had faced the dreaded ordeal of
preaching before my home folks and had found it not so bad! The
pastor came back and, to my surprise, gave me a check for ten
dollars— five dollars each for two sermons! I felt he had paid me
far too much!
Sometime later, in the absence of the pastor, I preached at night.
After service, I was escorting a young lady home, and we were walk-
ing some fifteen feet behind one of the deacons. It was dark and the
street was unlighted. I heard the wife of the deacon say, "What did
you think of the sermon?" The deacon replied, "Well, the young
brother covered all the territory from Genesis to Revelation."
The county town of Hillsboro played an important role in my life.
It had been laid out in 1754 and from the very beginning had been
a center of culture and political influence in the life of the state. The
Regulator trouble and the tragedy of Alamance had centered in
this western outpost. The first open struggle of the oppressed masses
in America for freedom from British tyranny and oppression had had
its center in the frontier country town. Hillsboro was the capital of
the state during the latter years of the Revolution. Here Cornwallis
made his headquarters after the costly battle at Guilford Court House.
Here, in 1788, the famous Constitutional Convention, after many
Teaching and Preaching 41
weeks of bitter debate, rejected the Federal Constitution by one
hundred votes. Through all the years down to the present day, Hills-
boro has been the home of many leaders in the life of the state and
the nation— governors, United States senators, Supreme Court judges,
and others prominent in various phases of the life of North Carolina
and the Union.
In the years before the Civil War and for two decades after the
surrender, the Baptists had flourished and played a worthy part in
the religious life of the community. However, in the closing years of
the nineteenth century, the Baptist church had lost in membership
and declined in strength until in 1901 there were just twenty-one
members. An absentee pastor came only once a month to preach at
the morning and night services. The salary paid was seventy-five
dollars a year, and the rent of the small parsonage constituted the
major portion of this amount.
I was invited to supply the pulpit on the fourth Sunday in July,
1901. After accepting the invitation, I hired a horse and buggy from
a livery stable and drove the twelve miles from Chapel Hill on
Sunday morning. When I arrived at the church, there were two young
ladies sitting on the steps. One of them, whom I had met some months
before at a picnic, introduced me to her friend who was the church
organist. Five years later, I married the church organist whom I met
Since there was no preaching in the town on this day except at the
Episcopal church, the congregations from the Baptist, Methodist, and
Presbyterian churches were out in full force. They had heard of
the young student who had dared oppose and defeat the long-time
county superintendent of schools, and they filled the Baptist Church
to see what he could do in the preaching line. It was a trying hour
for the young minister. Just before I read my text, a deacon came to
the pulpit and asked me to announce preaching for eight o'clock that
evening. To my inquiry as to who would preach, he replied, "You,
of course." I protested that I must return to Chapel Hill that after-
noon, since I had hired a horse from the livery stable and had promised
to return the rig before dark. Remaining deaf to all the appeals of the
deacon to stay over and preach that night, I announced that there
would be no evening service. I failed to tell the deacon and the con-
gregation my real reason for not preaching at night. I had but one
meager sermon, combined from the only two I had made up to that
42 Charles E. Maddry— An Autobiography
Upon invitation of the church, I preached for them again the fourth
Sunday morning in August. I spent the night at the hotel and paid
the bill myself. I settled the livery stable bill incurred on the first
trip as soon as I got my first pay as superintendent of schools.
The church forgot to pay me anything for these first efforts, but the
Lord paid me most bountifully in giving me, out of the trip, the
lovely and unsurpassed bride who has unfalteringly walked by my
side for almost fifty years!
Dedication and Preparation
In the spring of 1904, at the age of twenty-eight, I was compelled to
face a new crisis in my lifework. For many years the conviction had
been growing upon me that the Great Head of the Church had
called me into the ministry. It gradually dawned upon me that I
was making slow progress in entering fully and completely upon my
lifework. I was a pastor— or more accurately, supply preacher— for
four weak and undeveloped churches, with a total membership of
less than two hundred and fifty, active and inactive. To these churches,
scattered over the northern half of Orange County, I preached
regularly eight times each month, thus being compelled to drive
over a hundred miles every month, in all kinds of weather, over
roads and trails that were all but impassable half the year round.
Since I had not received any special training for the work of the
ministry, patient and devoted country deacons taught me how to
conduct a church conference, baptize believers, and administer the
Lord's Supper. There was no special training for the young people
in any of my churches, but a Sunday school of sorts was usually carried
on from April until Christmas.
After three years with my field of churches, I realized that I was
trying to do the work of two men in dividing myself between the
county school work and the work of the churches. I realized that
since I was not doing either job effectively, a choice must soon be
made between the two. I wanted to preach, and I found the people
eager to hear and responsive to the appeal of the gospel. Because
there was little time for study, sermon preparation was made at
night and during the long drives over the county. All in all, I felt a
growing sense of dissatisfaction with existing conditions and knew
that soon I would have to face the whole matter and make a decision
that would affect, in a far-reaching way, all the years of my life.
Three years devoted to the work of public education in Orange
44 Charles E. Maddry— An Autobiography
County had fully awakened me to the pitiable and desperate need
for aggressive leadership in the schools of the county. All the progres-
sive people had responded to my leadership by favoring a forward-
looking program for better school buildings, better teaching, longer
school terms, and more money for public education. When I came to
cast up accounts, I was surprised and delighted with the progress
we had made in so short a time. It all convinced me of the fact that
the school work was a full-time job for a man trained in modern
school methods. Since I had not had such training, I realized that
sooner or later a trained educational person would be needed for the
best interests of the children of the county. When I made known my
purpose to spend some time in study at the Southern Baptist The-
ological Seminary, the Board of Education, voted to elect an acting
superintendent, hoping that at the end of nine months I would return
to my old job. With this in mind, my former pastor and devoted friend,
Reverend John C. Hocutt, was elected acting superintendent.
The school people wanted me to stay; the dear people in the
churches said that my preaching was good enough for them and
urged me not to leave them. I remember saying to a saintly woman,
who was insisting that all the people in the churches were satisfied
with my preaching, that I was afraid that those coming on twenty
years in the future would not be content with the ministry of an
I sold my horse and buggy and settled all my affairs in Hillsboro
and then went over to Chapel Hill to complete a transaction which
brought great satisfaction to my heart. At various times during my
years in the University, I had been compelled to borrow small sums
from the Deems Fund— a loan fund established for the help of
needy students. My total loans for the four years amounted to only
one hundred and fifty dollars. At various times Horace Williams,
Collier Cobb, S. M. Gattis, John T. Weaver, and Tom Strain had
signed notes with me for these loans. I had promised them that the
notes would be paid off at the earliest possible moment after I left
school. I found that I could pay off all I owed in Orange County,
including these loans from the University, and still have enough left
to buy my ticket to Louisville. President Venable insisted that I would
need the money for expenses in Louisville, and that the Deems Fund
note could wait. However, I felt that I must keep faith with the men
who had signed those notes with me. Therefore, I paid them off
and left, completely free of debt. I set out, poor in this world's goods,
Dedication and Preparation 45
but rich in faith that the generous Friend who had seen me through
college would stand by me in my further efforts to prepare for my
On my last visit to Mars Hill Church, located three miles north
of Hillsboro, I was surprised to see Mr. Edmund Strudwick and his
young son come in as the service was beginning. He was a native of
Hillsboro and a member of one of the most distinguished Presbyterian
families in the county. He had risen rapidly in the business world,
and was then president of the South Atlantic Life Insurance Company
of Richmond, Virginia. He heard the announcements of the day con-
cerning my departure in a few days for Louisville. I met him on the
street the next morning, and to my surprise, he asked me if I had
funds sufficient for my expenses while in the seminary. I replied that
after all debts were paid, I had just enough for my expenses to
Louisville. He inquired further as to how I expected to meet my obli-
gations during my years of study in the seminary. I told him that I
was going out in faith that work would open up and that I would find
some way to finance the undertaking as the need arose from time to
Mr. Strudwick then said that he would like to invest something
in my further training for the ministry. He gave me his address and
instructed me to write him when I needed funds for current expenses
while in the theological school. I borrowed small sums from him from
time to time as the need arose, giving my notes to be repaid with
interest. The total amount borrowed was $200. When I sent the
first payment on the notes, I received a gracious letter from him
saying that I need not send any further payments and that he was
enclosing the cancelled notes. Thus God raised up an unexpected
friend in another hour of need during my years of preparation for
the work of the ministry.
Ever since that December day in 1900, when my home church at
Mount Moriah set its seal of approval upon my life's purpose to
become a minister, I had dreamed of the day when I could enter the
Southern Baptist Theological Seminary at Louisville, Kentucky.
On the first day of October, 1904, along with some three hundred
other students from widely scattered states and nations, I registered.
I was tremendously impressed by the learning and ability of the
faculty. It was a high privilege to sit at the feet of such men as
E. Y. Mullins, A. T. Robertson, John R. Sampey, W. O. Carver, E. C.
Dargan, and W. J. McGlothlin. Each was outstanding in his own field.
46 Charles E. Maddry— An Autobiography
I still consider it one of the greatest blessings that ever came to me
as an unworthy preacher of Christ's gospel— the high privilege of
studying the Word of God for these months under the inspiration
and guidance of such worthy and renowned teachers.
In the light of after years, I realize now more fully the value
and worth of the fellowship and blessed associations formed during
those crowded years of hard work at Louisville. Hidden from all
human eyes at that time was the fact that the God of missions was
preparing for a critical and testing time in the life of the Southern
Baptists and their foreign mission work. A leader would be needed,
together with a band of devoted men and women to support him and
hold up his hands. Looking back now, I realize with humility and
gratitude that all unknown to me or my associates, teachers and
students, God was leading me on. In after years, many of these
friends and fellow students of the Louisville years became staunch
supporters and loyal helpers in the work of foreign missions, in state
conventions, and in churches throughout the territory of tire Southern
Baptist Convention. Many of them, from time to time, were members
of the Foreign Mission Board, state secretaries, editors of Baptist
papers, pastors of loyal and devoted churches, and foreign mis-
Among those whom I knew in Louisville who, in later years, were
to become pastors of great missionary churches were: J. Clyde Turner,
A. Paul Bagby, W. F. Powell, C. B. Arendall, W. C. James, T. V.
McCaul, W. C. Barrett, J. R. Jester, and W. O. Patterson.
Some of the candidates for service in the foreign mission fields, dur-
ing those days of 1904-1906 were: J. H. Rowe, E. L. Morgan and wife,
J. W. Shepard, Miss Cynthia Miller, Miss Alice Huey, Miss Rena
Groover, C. K. Dozier, G. W. Bouldin, Dr. and Mrs. B. L. Lockett,
H. H. Muirhead, O. P. Maddox and wife, Miss Maud Burke, Miss
Sophia Lanneau, and W. W. Adams.
A few weeks after I entered the seminary, President Mullins sent
for me to come to his office. He said the church at Mitchell, Indiana,
had requested him to send them a preacher for the next Sunday and
asked me to fill the engagement. I accepted the invitation and
preached for the Mitchell church Sunday morning and night. They
invited me back the next Sunday and in a few weeks offered to
call me as pastor for full time. I soon realized, however, that my work
in school was so heavy that it was not best for me to undertake to
serve a church as full-time pastor.
Dedication and Preparation 47
In November, 1904, just after I declined the call at Mitchell, an
opportunity to become pastor of a fine church in the Bluegrass section
of Kentucky unexpectedly opened to me. One of the seniors, with
whom I had become an intimate friend, came to my room with a
letter from a deacon of the Evergreen Church at Farmdale, Kentucky,
requesting him to send them a supply preacher for the next Sunday
morning service. He offered me the opportunity to go, saying that
they paid $15.00 for a supply for one service. I was eager to preach
and needed the money! I accepted without hesitation.
I found that the Evergreen church, made up of some of the most
loyal and devoted people I have ever known, was in a bad tangle over
calling a pastor. For a generation they had always had a seminary
student to serve them. After the church had heard two "candidates,"
one had been called by one majority. The losing side refused to make
it unanimous. They were in a deadlock, with neither side willing to
All of this was known to me before I preached Sunday morning.
It so happened that both of the men were my good friends in the
seminary. Since I had not come with an expectation of a "call," I
preached the best I could, had a good Kentucky dinner, and went
back to Louisville on Sunday evening, content with a fine day enjoyed
with the saints at Evergreen.
Eight days later, I received a letter from the clerk saying that the
church had held a special meeting on the Sunday following my visit,
rescinded their former action, and called me unanimously as pastor
for half-time at a salary of $25.00 per month. I accepted the call and
spent fourteen months with this delightful church. Life-long friend-
ships were formed here which have blessed and enriched all the
later years of my ministry.
But the months were passing rapidly, and soon it was time to
be thinking of calls to pastorates and permanent locations. My heart
turned with poignant and ever-increasing longing toward North
Carolina. A call to a church in any state would have been welcome,
but a call from some North Carolina congregation would have been
especially welcome and appealing.
In the early spring a letter came from a field of churches including
Graham, Haw River, and Sweptsonville. The salary offered seemed
princely— $800 per year and a home. I investigated, wrote letters of
inquiry to the state secretary, prayed and waited. The weeks were
slipping by, and there was no other call on the horizon. A lovely
48 Charles E. Maddry— An Autobiography
young lady was waiting for me down in the Tar Heel State, and a
decision had to be made. Seemingly, all other doors were closed;
Graham was open, and so the decision was made.
I wrote two letters that night, one to the Graham Committee
informing them of my acceptance of their call, and the other to the
young lady informing her of the momentous decision. We would
be married in May and begin life's journey together in the parsonage
It was late in the night when the decision was made and the
letters written. On going out to drop the letters in the mail box in
front of New York Hall, the student dormitory, I heard an inner voice,
clear and unmistakable, which said: "It's all right to mail the letter
to the 'young lady in waiting,' but the letter to the Graham committee
can wait another day, at least." The inner voice was so unmistakable
and clamorous that the letter to the church committee was left on
my study table, while I went to bed with the conviction that the whole
question of my future place of service was still far from being settled.
Return to North Carolina
Late in the fall of 1905, plans, long in the making, began to take
shape for the organization of a new Baptist church near what was
then the Normal and Industrial College in West Greensboro. The
idea was born in the mind and heart of Dr. Livingston Johnson,
former pastor of the First Baptist Church of Greensboro, who, in
1905, was Corresponding Secretary of the North Carolina State
Convention. The active leaders in the movement were O. Joe Howard,
O. W. Monroe, J. S. Moore, O. Shell, C. E. Horton, W. E. Harrison,
and Dr. Henry W. Battle.
This group, working through Dr. Johnson, invited me to come
and lead in this new undertaking. After much correspondence the
offer was accepted, and in February, 1906, 1 began a ministry of three
and one-half years in the Gate City. I was pastor of Southside, a small
mission church in South Greensboro, for half the time. They paid
$150 per year. The new mission in West Greensboro promised to
pay $350 and the State Mission Board paid $500 per year for the work
at the two mission points.
The work grew rapidly, and in a month it was clearly seen that it
would be wise to organize a Baptist Church in West Greensboro.
Accordingly, on Sunday, March 11, the new church was constituted
with forty-two members.
The church grew so rapidly and the demand became so insistent
for the full-time service of the pastor, that a church meeting was
held on June 27, at which time I was unanimously called as pastor
at a salary of $1,000 per year. A committee was appointed to confer
with Southside Church, requesting that I be released from half-time
service with them on November 1, so that all my time could be given
to the rapidly growing new congregation. The Southside church
relunctantly consented to the request, and I was released after a
service of six months.
50 Charles E. Maddry— An Autobiography
On May 2, 1906, I married Emma Parker, daughter of T. B. Parker
and Penelope Alderman Parker, in the Baptist Church in Hillsboro.
The ceremony was performed by Dr. Hight C Moore, a relative of
the bride, and the pastor of the church, Reverend A. C. Hamby. Dr.
W. F. Powell, a seminary classmate and for many years pastor of the
First Baptist Church of Nashville, Tennessee, was best man.
We began keeping house in Greensboro on Rankin Street. The
panic of 1907 hit us hard, and the banks issued script instead of money.
On December 13, 1907, our daughter, Katharine, was born.
Some months later it seemed to me that I could leave the work
at Forest Avenue without hindering the growth of the church. When
an unexpected call came from the First Baptist Church, Statesville,
I accepted. The church had but recently built and paid for a new
building. While the auditorium was amply adequate for the some-
thing less than three hundred members, facilities were wholly in-
adequate for the growth and development of the Sunday school.
The Statesville church has sent out a noted group of preachers
and missionaries during the three-quarters of a century since it began
its existence in the Court House in this pedo-Baptist stronghold.
Dr. J. Clyde Turner, who became one of North Carolina's most noted
and dynamic Baptist preachers, pastor of the First Church, Greens-
boro for more than a generation, was saved, baptized, and licensed
to preach in this church. His father, John C. Turner, was senior
deacon during my pastorate with the church.
This church sent forth Mrs. Maud Burke Dozier as a missionary to
Japan. Southern Baptists never sent out a more successful and Christ-
like missionary than this noble woman. Dr. Charles L. Leonard went
out from this church to China. The church has always been missionary
in its practice and outlook, and the missionary cause had a devoted
and enthusiastic friend and a generous supporter in Miss Laura
Lazenby and her noble brother, L. K. Lazenby. Miss Lazenby, a
noted schoolteacher, was a woman of genuine culture who always
put her church first. By dint of thrift and wise foresight, through a
long life as a successful teacher, she accumulated a respectable
estate. As the end drew near, she visited the Secretary of the Foreign
Mission Board in Richmond and made all necessary legal arrange-
ments for her entire estate to pass to the Foreign Mission Board at
In the fall of 1911, the Tabernacle of Raleigh invited me to make
them a visit. It was one of the largest churches in North Carolina.
Return to North Carolina 51
Led by N. B. Broughton, the Sunday school for years had been one
most advanced in the state in modern methods of teaching and evan-
gelism. It seemed to offer an outstanding opportunity for a wider
service in the ministry. However, because of a decided distaste for the
practice of preaching "sample" sermons before a church that was
looking for a pastor, I declined the invitation to visit the church for
the purpose of exhibiting samples as a candidate for the vacant
pulpit. On the Monday morning following, I received the following
Raleigh, N. C. Nov. 1
Rev. Chas. E. Maddry
Statesville, N. C.
The Tabernacle Baptist Church of this city, in conference assembled tonight,
extends unanimous call to you to become its pastor and prayer was made that
the Lord should lead you to acceptance of same. Letter will follow.
N. B. Broughton
I accepted the invitation and on the first Sunday in December, 1911,
began work in Raleigh as pastor of the Tabernacle.
Needham B. Broughton was a remarkable man of many talents.
Born in 1848, eleven years before the outbreak of the Civil War, he
knew the poverty and hardship of that terrible struggle and the
greater social and economic upheaval of the long drawn out years
After coming to Raleigh in early manhood, with limited formal
education and without the backing of men of wealth and influence, he
made a commanding place for himself in the business and religious
world that was unique and unsurpassed. He educated himself, and
by dint of uprightness of character and industry, established a print-
ing, engraving, and bookbinding establishment that has grown and
expanded through more than three-quarters of a century, until today
the firm of Edwards and Broughton has become one of the largest of
its kind in the South and is a synonym for careful workmanship and
honesty in the business world.
N. B. Broughton was a pioneer in modern Sunday school methods,
and before the turn of the century he had made the Tabernacle
Sunday school famous for its advanced methods of teaching, effec-
tive organization, and evangelism. Throngs of children and young
people were drawn into the life of the church. The church was a
center of evangelism, and the "Lord added to them day by day those
who were being saved."
52 Charles E. Maddry— An Autobiography
The Tabernacle Church has been a veritable beehive of activity
in the discovery and training of leaders for church and Sunday school
activities. More than a score of young ministers have gone out from
this church. Among the many who have become widely known in
the religious world was the gifted theological teacher, scholar, and
author of theological works— Dr. James McKee Adams.
The four and one-half years at Tabernacle were fruitful in the
service of Christ's gospel and at the same time were years filled with
hard work and much travail of soul in trying to be a faithful minister.
Substantial progress was made in all phases of the work. There were
many organized classes which were great factors in the life of the
church. They were evangelistic agencies and did much to boost the
attendance at every service. R. N. Simms and his sister, Mrs. Moseley,
organized the first Baraca Class in the state, and the class, still taught
by Mr. Simms, has had an honorable and remarkable part in the life
and work of the Tabernacle. Other influential classes, taught by
Major J. J. Bernard, Miss Maud Reid, J. M. Broughton, Sr., and E. H.
Broughton, have all been mighty forces in the life and growth of the
But the pride of the Sunday school was the unique "Infant Class"
taught for a half century by "Mr. Joe and Miss Ida" Weathers. They
were remarkable teachers and boosters. Not having any children,
they loved and adopted all the children within the circle of the Taber-
nacle influence and loved them as their very own. This class was the
pet and pride of the Sunday school and church.
N. B. Broughton made much of special days and exalted the idea
of organized classes. He was far ahead of his day in Sunday school
methods but was slow to take up the idea of a graded Sunday school.
When his nephew, J. M. Broughton, Jr., came back from Harvard
with his law degree, N. B. Broughton was a sick man. Young Melville
had taught school for some time and had also been acting county
superintendent of schools for Wake County. He saw at once that
the next forward step in growth was the grading of the Sunday school.
He was made associate superintendent, and with the support of the
pastor and many of the teachers, the Sunday school was graded.
To attract and hold the people, I saw that much time must be
given to study and sermon preparation. The pastoral work of the
church was heavy indeed. There were always the many sick to be
visited and the poor to be cared for. There were few automobiles in
Raleigh in those days, and certainly the pastor did not have one. The
Return to North Carolina 53
house-to-house visiting required much walking. There were many
funerals to be conducted. The former members of the Tabernacle
were scattered widely in other states. When sorrow and death came,
it was frequently the Tabernacle that was called upon to minister in
the last hours of distress and need. All together, the work of preaching,
church administration, and pastoral duties made a heavy load for
one man, though he was young and vigorous.
Moreover, the church did not provide any assistance, except in
the music program. There was a large and splendid choir, directed by
a trained and efficient leader, but the choir director and the organist
were the only paid workers besides the pastor.
During the first two years with the church, I did the preaching in
the annual spring revival meetings of 1912 and 1913. There were
eighty-odd additions in each meeting. The whole church was organ-
ized as far as possible for these meetings. A great deal of visiting
and personal work was done. The pastor, deacons, Sunday school
teachers, and leaders of women's work went afield for the lost, and
the results were highly satisfactory. I have found that it is always
effective and profitable for the pastor to hold his own evangelistic
meetings as often as possible.
In 1914, led by the pastor, Reverend Walter N. Johnson, the church
at Wake Forest launched an enthusiastic effort to erect a church
building on the campus. Since the organization of the church, the
congregation had worshiped in the college chapel. The whole de-
nomination was conscious of the need for a separate house of worship
at the college. A convention committee was appointed to work with
the local Wake Forest church committee in the endeavor to raise the
money needed from the churches for the undertaking. I was made
chairman of this committee. Brother Johnson was made chairman of
the local church committee and we worked together in fullest sym-
pathy and understanding for the success of the undertaking. The
Wake Forest Church did its part nobly. The trustees of the college
gave the site for the new church. When the enterprise was well begun,
Chairman Johnson was taken ill, and the whole weight of leadership
fell upon my shoulders. This extra work, in addition to the labors
of a large and exacting pastorate, all but crushed me, but somehow
the venture was carried through to the successful and triumphant
conclusion. I wrote many hundreds of letters and traveled widely
among the churches soliciting funds for the completion of the enter-
prise. The church was finished and paid for, and the long deferred
54 Charles E. Maddry— An Autobiography
dream of the Baptists of North Carolina was realized— a beautiful and
well-appointed church house stood on the campus at Wake Forest.
In the early spring of 1916 there came an invitation from the
pulpit committee of the University Baptist Church of Austin, Texas,
that I make them a visit looking to a call to the pastorate of their
church. After some investigation and correspondence with friends
in Texas, I decided not to make the visit. At Easter time, Mrs. R. H.
Baker, a leading member of the Austin Church, who had been visiting
her son in Philadelphia, spent Easter Sunday in Raleigh. With con-
vincing enthusiasm she laid the appeal of the University Church
on my heart in such a way that I could not get away from the im-
pression that God was calling me to this hard but compelling task.
The University of Texas was growing rapidly and with its wealth
in oil lands was destined to be one of the richest schools in the
land. The lands allocated by the state to the University were already
Around the turn of the centuiy, a faithful and devoted group of
professors and a few leading citizens, led by Judge John C. Townes,
Dean of the University Law School, had organized the University
Church. They had bought a small chapel from the Presbyterians two
and one-half blocks from the main entrance to the University. Here
the little church, consisting of less than two hundred members, was
worshiping when they invited me to be their pastor and lead in the
effort to build a worthy church plant across from the campus. A
splendid lot had been bought and paid for.
Looking back now after a thud of a century, I can see clearly the
human factors that led up to the decision to move to Texas. Without
adequate assistance, the ever-increasing load of preaching and pas-
toral work incident to a large church in Raleigh was more than one
man could successfully carry. The pastoral work alone was more than
one man could do, since the membership was widely scattered over
the city, and there was no way to reach it except by daily, continuous
walking. I was forty years old and knew the time had come for
harder and more systematic study of the Word of God if I was
ever to attain to the dream of the years of becoming a good preacher.
Through all the years, the growing passion for world missions had
dominated my life. In this move into a new fellowship, I felt that
God was leading me into greater open doors for world service.
University Church, Austin, Texas
I reached Austin June 1, 1916, and was met at the train by Judge
John C. Townes, Dean of the University Law School and chairman
of the Board of Deacons of the University Church. He was a gentle,
Christ-like man, loved and honored by everyone. After being enter-
tained in his home for a few days, I secured a room at the Y. M. C. A.
My wife and little girl stayed in Raleigh until early in September.
On the first Sunday in June, 1916, I preached my initial sermon
before a congregation which filled the small chapel of the church.
Dr. J. B. Gambrell, General Secretary of the Executive Board of the
Baptist General Convention of Texas, came to be with me that day.
He would not preach but consented to "greet" the people at the
close of the service. It was a typical Gambrell deliverance, which
delighted the people.
I had just gone through two years of intense and consuming effort
as chairman of the convention committee trying to persuade the
churches of North Carolina to build a worthy church and educational
plant at Wake Forest. I realized at once that there was no commit-
ment by the state board or denominational leaders of Texas of a
definite amount which the denomination was willing to invest in a
church plant near the University of Texas. I found also that the Uni-
versity Church, composed largely of professors, students, and people
directly or indirectly connected with the University, had no practical
conception of die cost of an adequate church plant for the spiritual
welfare of the hundreds of Baptist students. I preached that June
Sunday morning with a sense of humility and the utter need of divine
At the night service on this first Sunday in Austin, I baptized four
fine students into the fellowship of the church. I soon saw that the
work with students was vastly different from what I had been used
to in former pastorates in North Carolina. This was more individual
56 Charles E. Maddry— An Autobiography
and took time and patience. The general evangelistic appeal from the
pulpit had to be preceded by much personal work and teaching; the
social contacts were highly valuable and fruitful.
I spent the summer months visiting and getting acquainted with
the local membership of the church. It was hot, hard work walking
over the white limestone streets and byways of North Austin trying
to arouse and enlist the contingent of the congregation that was out-
side the University faculty-student group.
The latter part of August, before going back to North Carolina to
bring my family out to Texas, I decided to make a trip to Dallas for
a conference with Dr. Gambrell concerning the extent to which the
State Mission Board was willing to help in financing the proposed
Truly one of the greatest Baptist leaders of his generation, Dr.
Gambrell was a man of the common people— simple, modest, un-
assuming. His manner before an audience was easy, and his speech
was leisurely and understandable even to the most unlearned. Little
children delighted to hear him, and, like his Lord, "the common
people heard him gladly." His choice of simple Anglo-Saxon words
was impressive, and no listener ever failed to understand his mean-
ing. At times his audiences were moved from laughter to tears or to
impressive silence. He was a combination of wit, humor, pathos, and
simple greatness, all in one, often with each trait struggling for the
mastery in the same breath.
Moreover, he had an imposing personality, with his fine physique,
ruddy complexion, white hair, and white cropped beard. His dress
was plain, at times almost to the point of shabbiness; his manners
were simple and refined. He had been a famous Confederate captain
under Lee and was one of his most dependable and trusted scouts.
Even in age, he carried himself with an erectness and grace that
singled him out in any gathering.
Such was the man that the Baptists of Texas and the South loved
and delighted to honor. He was at various times editor of the Baptist
Standard, state secretary of the Baptist General Convention of Texas,
and president of the Southern Baptist Convention.
Therefore, it was with a sense of humility that I faced the great
man across his desk on that August morning. I had come as a humble
suppliant, seeking denominational funds for a needed and long-
neglected state Baptist enterprise located at the main entrance of
the fast-growing University of Texas. I knew that success or failure of
University Church, Austin, Texas 57
the plans depended upon the work of this trusted and beloved leader
of the Texas Baptist hosts. And now, at last, I was to hear in terms
of dollars and cents to what extent the great leader was willing to
commit the denomination to the long-dreamed-of undertaking.
Before getting down to business, we sparred with each other for
some minutes over small and commonplace trivialities. Dr. Gambrell
was completely at ease and busied himself, as he expatiated on the
virtues of daily economy, by trimming his beard with the shears
on his desk while explaining that he saved a barber's bill by trimming
his own whiskers. I attempted to lead him back to the theme of the
building of a worthy church plant near the University of Texas. This
provoked a thirty-minute dissertation on the manner in which the
great enterprise could be carried through to a successful conclusion
if all concerned would do their best— the local church, the State Board,
and the wealthy friends scattered over Texas. After reminding him
that the local church had about exhausted itself in the purchase of the
magnificent site, I tried repeatedly to pin him down to a definite
statement as to the amount the State Board would give toward the
undertaking. He continued to speak in expansive terms of how it
would take patience, faith, and hard work to accomplish the under-
taking. Since I was getting nowhere with abstract generalities, I
boldly asked for a specific commitment from him, explaining that we
could not employ an architect to design the building until we had this
Seeing that the time had come for a definite answer, the secretary
replied that he had thought much about the matter, but that in the
light of the mission resources in sight, he thought about ten thousand
dollars would be the limit to which he felt the denomination should
go in providing the "meeting house" needed by the University
I confess that I was overwhelmed with amazement and despair.
The walls of my dream house collapsed utterly, and I was speechless.
I had expected not less than an initial gift of $50,000 and $50,000 more
to be paid over a period of five years!
The interview closed, and I slipped away to catch a train. I am
sure that the great man, with his irrepressible sense of hope and
optimism, never knew of the bitter anguish and sorrow of soul with
which I journeyed back to Austin that August night in 1916. There
were no stars of hope shining for me as I drove by the newly-
purchased site for the home of a greater University Baptist Church.
58 Charles E. Maddry— An Antobiographij
There was gloom in the University Church circles when I reported the
outcome of my mission to Dallas. However, it did not last long. The
little band of stalwarts in the faith of Christ and in the future
greatness of their dream church soon rebounded to a sober and
unfaltering faith that the glorious thing to which they had set their
hands would one day be translated into reality.
In a few days I left for North Carolina to bring out my family.
Henceforth we were to be Texans, and so far as I could see, our
star of destiny hovered over the Lone Star State.
In the fall of 1916, the members of the University Baptist Church
began with beautiful unity and contagious enthusiasm to plan for
the construction of their sanctuary and educational plant. On the
first Sunday in October, the student body came back, crowding the
little chapel to capacity. I preached from Philippians 3: 13-14: "The
Upward Calling of God in Christ." I had not planned to give an
invitation for life service, but an inner voice whispered: "Give them
an invitation for life service, and God shall lead." I gave the invitation.
It was a tense and destiny-making time. Five students answered
God's call with the surrender of life for service. Two of the young
men became useful and successful ministers of the gospel, and
beautiful brown-eyed Agnes Graham, a rising senior in the University,
offered her life as God might lead for service on the foreign field. The
congregation was stirred. It was a high hour and was but a prophecy
of many holy and triumphant hours in the years that lay ahead.
Just as we were in the critical stage of our church building program,
Jim Ferguson was elected governor. The University faculty and
Board of Regents opposed him and his policies. In retaliation, sup-
ported by his followers in the legislature, he removed the Board of
Regents, appointed a new group to do his bidding, and dismissed
the president and many of the faculty. The move hit the University
Baptist Church a stunning blow. Many of our leaders, deacons,
Sunday school teachers, and prominent supporters, were dismissed
abruptly without salary. Among those dismissed were Judge John C.
Townes, chairman of our board of deacons, as well as several long-
time professors. All of our plans were upset for the time, and a feeling
of uncertainty settled down upon the church.
In a short time, however, there was a ground-swell of indignation
that swept the state like a Texas tornado. The legislature, in special
session, impeached the Governor and removed him from office. The
Lieutenant Governor reappointed the former Board of Regents, who
University Church, Austin, Texas 59
promptly restored the president and faculty to their former positions
in the University.
All was again serene, and we took up anew our building plan for
the church. It appeared for the time, at least, that our hindrances were
over, and the future was rosy with promise.
The first great problem that tested the unity of the pastor and the
people was the selection of an architect and the designing of the
proposed building. One element of the church wanted a simple type
of architecture with the main interest centered on utility and economy.
The imperative need of the church was for ample auditorium space
and adequate classroom space for the expanding Sunday school.
There was another element in the church consisting mainly of
the group who were connected directly and indirectly with the
University. This group, while not denying the need for economy and
utility, were insistent upon the wisdom of expressing in wood and
brick and stone the artistic and aesthetic religious appeal of a
beautiful sanctuary. The lot purchased and paid for was ample.
The pastor earnestly desired a beautiful, artistic church building.
At the same time, I was anxious to unite all of our friends behind
the project— the local church, the State Board, and the friends, with-
out going beyond the ability of the congregation to finance. To do
this, it was felt that a practical southern-trained architect, who knew
the requirements of an organized Sunday school, must be employed.
The Sunday School Board's specialists were called in, and they
rendered valuable service in planning a proposed educational build-
ing adequate for the immediate needs and the requirements for the
foreseeable future. An architect employed widely by many prominent
and growing Baptist churches throughout the South was called in.
He studied the problem and produced a splendid layout for our
needs as to space and modern educational requirements; but the
external appearance of the building from the architectural and artis-
tic standpoint was unacceptable to the committee. It was a splendid
plan from the standpoint of utility and the traditional idea of what a
Southern Baptist "meeting house" should look like, but the com-
mittee rejected the plan unanimously.
The building committee then began the search for another archi-
tect. Some of the members had seen the Pan-American Building in
Washington, designed by Albert Kelsey of Philadelphia. The beauty
and magnificence of it intrigued them. Correspondence was opened
with Mr. Kelsey, and he was invited to visit Austin. He accepted the
60 Charles E. Maddry— An Autobiography
invitation and came. The committee was greatly pleased with his ideas
and employed him forthwith to make preliminary studies of a sanc-
tuary and educational layout in keeping with the surroundings and
conforming to the general type of architecture prevailing in the uni-
After a delay of some months, he came back for a second visit with
the committee and submitted a plan that was beautiful and satisfying
in every particular. It was to be a Spanish mission type structure
with an imposing bell tower from which chimes could be heard all
As to the cost of the church, the architect was vague. However, he
had completely won over the committee to his viewpoint. He re-
minded them that the great churches and cathedrals of Europe were
not built in a day and that the cost for a work of artistic beauty such
as he had designed was a secondary consideration. The committee
signed a contract with Mr. Kelsey.
I was keenly conscious through it all that an enormous sum of
money was going to be required to finance such an undertaking. I
knew also that fifty thousand dollars, payable through a period of
five years would be all the local church, composed of teachers, small
business men, and university students, could possibly give. The
State Mission Board had indicated that ten thousand dollars would
be about the share of the denomination at large. There was left that
vague and uncertain amount expected from wealthy friends over
the state. I knew a little of the cost of building in war times, and
preliminary estimates ran all the way from three to five hundred
thousand dollars. The committee, caught up in their artistic and
aesthetic enthusiasm for the dream building of the Philadelphia
artist, saw only the stars and knew it could be done. I knew that the
best years of my swiftly passing life would be required to build and
pay for such an undertaking.
In the midst of our preliminary preparation for raising all the money
we could locally, the United States was drawn into the European
conflict. President Wilson was re-elected with the slogan "He kept
us out of war," and then the reckless and insatiable ambition of the
German Kaiser drew America into the costly struggle. Our existence
as a free nation was in the balance, and we went into the struggle
with the firm determination to "win the war to end all wars."
Numbers of our young men both from the University and the local
community went into the struggle at the beginning, and many of them
University Church, Austin, Texas 61
never came back. All of our efforts and resources were invested in
the all-out effort to win the war.
Just as we were planning to launch the educational unit of our
church plant, a drought of unprecedented length and severity pros-
trated all farm and ranch activities in southwest and west Texas. The
drought lasted for more than a year, and many thousand of cattle
died for lack of grass and drinking water. Many ranchmen shipped
their cattle to Louisiana to save the remnant. It was time of great
distress, and the economic life of the whole southwest area was
In an effort to reduce the cost of the building, the committee at
last faced the necessity of leaving off the proposed bell tower to the
church. It was argued that this was to be separate and apart from the
church; the bell tower could be added later when times were more
Just as I thought we were all set to let the contract for the educa-
tional wing, tentative bids revealed the fact that we lacked ten
thousand dollars of having enough money in sight to pay for the
At this time, to complicate matters further, I received a letter
from my life-long friend, Secretary of the Navy, Josephus Daniels,
offering me an appointment in the Navy with the rank of Lieutenant-
Commander, provided I could close up affairs in Austin immediately
and go to France. The offer made a tremendous appeal to me, and I
wanted very much to accept it.
A joint meeting of the building committee and the deacons was
called, and the whole matter was laid before them. The discussion
lasted until midnight. The pastor asked to be granted leave of absence
for the duration of the war and that the building enterprise be post-
poned until after the close of the war. It developed that one member
of the committee had challenged two friends, large cattlemen near
Marfa in the Davis Mountains, West Texas, to give ten thousand
dollars toward the finished structure. She had a feeling that if rightly
approached they would give the amount for the educational wing.
Late at night, a motion was adopted instructing the pastor to
make a visit to the good friends of the church and lay the whole
matter before them. It was understood that if the effort failed, the
building enterprise would be postponed for the duration of the war,
and if it succeeded, the pastor would decline the offer of Mr. Daniels
and remain with the church. I made the trip and was cordially
62 Charles E. Maddry— An Autobiography
received by Messrs. Bennett and Willis McCutcheon. The whole
matter was canvassed with great care, and I was finally assured at
the close of the second day's visit that the ten thousand dollars
necessary for the completion of the proposed unit would be given,
provided I would decline the proposal to go to France as a chaplain
and remain with the church until the first unit of the structure was
I returned to Austin, and we let the contract for the educational
unit and the basement floor of the church.
We moved into the finished unit on November 10, 1918, and the
Armistice was signed on the next day. I thus lost my chance to go to
France, but the church secured the part of the building contemplated.
I have realized long since that after much prayer and agony of soul
God's plan was found, and His will was carried out.
In the meantime, even during the war years, the church was making
satisfactory and commendable progress in every way. The congre-
gations were growing, and the Sunday school was graded and stand-
ardized. The Student Department was organized, and the first Baptist
Student Union in the South was constituted by O. P. Campbell,
Secretary of Student Activities in the University Church, and J. P.
Boone, State Baptist Young People's Secretary. The John C. Townes
Bible Chair was organized under the tutorship of Mr. Campbell, and
the University gave credits toward graduation for the work done in
At the meeting of Baptist General Convention of Texas held in
Waco in November, 1916, I was on the program to speak on evan-
gelism. It was a high hour and gave me a splendid introduction to
the Baptist hosts of the Lone-Star State. Following this, I was over-
whelmed with invitations to hold evangelistic meetings in many
churches throughout Texas. I held fruitful meetings with the First
Baptist Churches in Tyler, Henderson, Corpus Christi, Gainesville,
Texarkana, Baylor University and Mary Hardin-Baylor at Belton.
I had good meetings also at Florence, Fort Davis, East Austin, South
Austin, and the University Church. These meetings gave me wide
contacts with Texas Baptist preachers and leaders. I made many
friends for the University Church, and much later, in my years of
critical service with the Foreign Board, Texas Baptists rallied around
me in a loyal way in every hour of need.
After the war closed, the University Church made plans for the
completion of the auditorium. We raised all we could locally and
University Church, Austin, Texas 63
then secured a large long-time loan from a midwestern insurance
company. The contract was let, and the work was begun in the last
months of 1919. Progress was slow, materials were hard to get, and
prices were high. The Texas Board made a substantial gift, and the
Home Board made a loan that was later converted into a gift. The
church was growing, and large numbers of the Baptist students in
the University were continuously coming into the church.
After leaving North Carolina in 1916, I had severed most of my
contacts with Baptist affairs in the home state. I had gone back for
the commencement exercises at Wake Forest in June, 1917, upon
the invitation of President Poteat and the Board of Trustees for the
bestowal of the honorary degree of Doctor of Divinity. As time passed,
the contacts with the Baptists in the home state gradually faded into
the background, and I was becoming more identified with the Baptists
of the Lone-Star State. I had been serving as a member of the Execu-
tive Board of the Baptist General Convention of Texas and was be-
ginning to feel very much at home in the Southwest.
Baylor celebrated seventy-five years of glorious achievement in
June, 1920, and conferred upon me the honorary degree of Doctor
The roof was going on the main church auditorium, and soon the
building would be finished. I had purchased a home within one
block of the church and it looked as if we were settled for life. My
wife and my daughter were thoroughly identified with the people
and were fast becoming loyal and enthusiastic Texans.
Call and Commitment to Larger
In November, 1920, Walter N. Johnson, secretary of the North Caro-
lina Baptist State Convention, announced his determination to retire
from that position that he might return to the pastorate. Immediately
there was intense interest as to who would be chosen as his successor.
The convention met in Asheville, and when the call was made for
nominations for secretary, some eight or ten men were nominated.
On the first ballot, Charles E. Maddry was elected by a decided
majority. The first news I had was the receipt of telegrams from
various friends saying that I had been elected and urging me to
I took the call of the North Carolina brethren as the call of the
Lord. Amid sorrow and regret, I offered my resignation as pastor of
the University Baptist Church, and we turned our faces toward our
On January 1, 1921, I began the new work. My predecessor, Dr.
Johnson, spent New Year's Day with me, introducing me to the
work and doing all he could to help me get a comprehensive insight
into all its phases. I soon realized that I had suddenly been thrust
into the biggest and most demanding task I had ever undertaken. As
the work grew in importance and the churches grew in numbers,
the position of general secretary grew in responsibility.
The 75 Million Campaign had gone over in a great way in the
churches of North Carolina. The same was true of every state in the
South. The denomination, led by Dr. L. R. Scarborough, had gone all
out to raise 75 million dollars for missions, with the pledges to be paid
in five annual installments. The churches of the South had subscribed
over ninety million dollars.
Knowing the problem among Southern Baptists of systematically
University Baptist Church, Austin, Texas
The Maddrys in Brazil in 1936 with Harley Smith,
Dr. and Mrs. W. B. Bagby, and Dr. and Mrs. L. R. Scarborough
The Maddrys and the J. B. Weatherspoons
at the grave of Henrietta Hall Shuck in Hong Kong
The Maddry Family: Mrs. R. W. Severance, (daughter Katharine),
Bob, Sarah, Dr. Maddry, Kay, R. W. Severance, and Mrs. Maddry
Call and Commitment 65
collecting pledges, I began immediately to organize the Baptists of
North Carolina, association by association, for this purpose.
Early in March we began a series of associational rallies over the
state. The heads of all departments went with me, and leading pastors
were invited to assist in speechmaking. The new secretary thus had
a good introduction to the pastors and representative men and women
of the churches.
Much enthusiasm was manifested, and the meetings were well
attended. Much lasting good came out of these rallies. At Statesville I
was stricken with appendicitis and underwent an operation at Long's
Sanatorium. My associates finished the tour in western North Caro-
lina. I was out of the work for six weeks.
From early boyhood I had heard the people discuss the need for
a new church plant adequate for the local congregation and for
the Baptist students in the University at Chapel Hill. The little church
building, erected in 1854, was located several blocks from the school.
It was wholly inadequate and out-of-date. There was no provision
for Sunday school or young people's work. In the fall of 1921 I
assisted the pastor there in a gracious revival. Students and town
people packed the little meetinghouse. There were a number of
additions to the church. At the close of the meeting we raised more
than ten thousand dollars for a new building. One member of the
faculty at the University gave one thousand dollars, although he
never attended the church. The secretary pledged substantial support
from the State Board.
A serious problem soon threatened to dampen the ardor of many
of the local congregation. The church had served the older families
for seventy-five years. They were warmly attached to the old loca-
tion. I frankly told them that the State Board would not be inter-
ested in building a new church on the old site.
We began at once the search for a new site nearer the University.
After some months, we purchased a splendid lot at the corner of
West Franklin and Columbia Streets, one block from the University.
The old church property was sold, the proceeds going toward the
cost of the new building. Later, when I presented the matter to the
church, the vote was unanimous for moving to the new site.
The building of the Chapel Hill Church was but the beginning.
The State Board took up with enthusiasm the plan to help provide a
worthy and adequate Baptist church house at every school center.
Some of the churches, such as Mars Hill, Chowan, and Wingate, had
66 Charles E. Maddry— An Autobiography
already begun building activities before I came to the secretaryship.
In some cases their plans were enlarged, and in all cases the Board
helped these churches pay off their indebtedness.
Secretary Livingston Johnson had launched the program of evan-
gelism in a new and effective way. He employed two full-time evan-
gelists, one for the east and one for the west. Dr. Walter Johnson
continued this program, and I expanded and enlarged it.
North Carolina never had a more devoted denominational worker
than E. L. Middleton. For many years he served as Sunday school
secretary and led North Carolina Baptists to a high place in Sunday
school work. He died in mid-life and left behind him a record for
denominational loyalty and achievement in his chosen field.
Another worker who has won great renown in several fields of
denominational activity is Perry Morgan. When I came to the secre-
taryship he was made state B. Y. P. U. secretary. He led the state to a
worthy place in young people's work in the South. When E. L. Middle-
ton was called home, Perry Morgan was elected Sunday school
secretary. He carried forward the Sunday school work in a marvelous
way. He left us to become manager of the Ridgecrest Assembly.
Much of the advancement at Ridgecrest, especially in buildings and
equipment, is due to the foresight and business ability of Perry
Meredith College for women had long since outgrown the cramped
campus in northeast Raleigh. It would cost more than a million dollars
to secure a new location with ample room and to construct buildings
sufficient to care for five hundred students. The denomination was
unable to furnish the funds necessary to build and pay cash for the
proposed plant. Finally the board of trustees, led by Gilbert T.
Stephenson, business leader and banker of Raleigh, recommended to
the convention that they proceed to secure a new site and issue a
million dollars worth of bonds, underwritten by the state convention,
for the purpose of building the new Meredith. The convention adopted
the suggestion, and the bonds were sold. They were to be paid off
in fifteen years out of funds given by the churches for Christian
education. For two or three years the payments were met without
much trouble. But as the depression of 1928-32 began to slow down
the income from the churches, the Board found itself in financial
straits and found it even more difficult to meet the payments on
The convention had been organized at Greenville in 1830. I rec-
Call and Commitment 67
ommended to the session of 1927 that we plan for a worthy celebration
of the centennial by raising a fund of a million dollars with which
to pay off the Meredith bonds. The recommendation was adopted.
The idea was received by the people in the churches with great
Two years before the centennial we began the systematic organiza-
tion of the associations for the campaign to pay off the debt on
Meredith College. The plan was to organize the churches in every
association for subscriptions from each church on a fixed date. All
the forces of the convention were thrown into the movement— pastors,
staff and departmental workers, college professors and students were
enlisted in a united and determined effort to come to the centennial
year completely out of debt. The secretary and the associate secretary,
M. A. Huggins, led in the movement and traveled hundreds of miles
over the state getting the organization set up. We made hundreds
of speeches from Manteo to Murphy, and on the appointed day the
pledges were taken in all the churches. More than eleven hundred
thousand dollars were subscribed, the pledges to be paid in two
years. We came back to Raleigh after six months of intense effort,
feeling that the great task was accomplished.
In 1929 the financial panic was upon us. The churches were un-
able to pay their pledges and the convention was compelled to default
on the payment of the bonds. Gloom and despair settled upon our
Baptist people, and it was necessary to curtail the work of the Board
in all phases. The high hopes with which we entered upon the work
on January 1, 1921, were blighted, and we came to the centennial
of the convention with a sense of frustration and defeat. The called
meeting of the convention met at Greenville and bravely faced a
gloomy future as we looked back on the triumphs of one hundred
I tried to put on a brave front and face the future with some
degree of enthusiasm. Many of our churches had sold bonds to finance
needed equipment for church and Sunday school enlargement, and
many of them defaulted on the mortgage and bond payments. Pastors'
salaries were reduced, and there was widespread suffering among all
The one dominating motive that had influenced my decision to
accept the call of North Carolina Baptists to come home and lead the
missionary forces as general secretary of the convention at the close
of 1920, was the missionary motive. I believed North Carolina Baptists
68 Charles E. Maddry-Au Autobiography
were ready for a decided and enthusiastic advance in missions-
state, southwide and worldwide. The conviction came to me slowly
that my work was finished as general secretary, that the executive
work of the convention should be in the hands of a younger man of
business ability, and that I should devote the remaining years of my
ministry to the work of the pastorate or to some phase of missionary
promotion. In this frame of mind, I went to the annual meeting of the
Southern Baptist Convention in St. Petersburg in May, 1932.
It was a time of financial distress and uncertainty for every conven-
tion, board, and educational institution among Southern Baptists.
Dr. Fred F. Brown, pastor of the First Baptist Church in Knoxville,
was elected president of the Convention. A briUiant and captivating
preacher, his soul was aflame with missionary zeal and passion. His
church was the largest weekly contributor to the Cooperative Program
within the bounds of the Convention.
After much prayer and prolonged discussion, the Convention voted
to organize and set up under the direction of the Executive Committee
a new department, to be known as the "Missionary Promotion
Committee." The duty of this new department was to press with
renewed zeal and vigor a more generous and systematic support
of the Cooperative Program, with especial emphasis on the tithe and
on weekly offerings in the churches for the support of missions,
benevolence, and Christian education.
One person from each state was appointed to organize and set up
the new department, and I was appointed to represent North Carolina.
The first duty of the committee was to elect an executive secretary
for the new work of the Convention.
The committee met in Birmingham, Alabama, early in June. Two
days and one night were spent in drawing up a statement to be sent
forth to the denomination concerning the plans, purposes, and pro-
gram for the guidance of this new phase of missionary promotion.
When the details of this matter were finished to the satisfaction of
the committee, the important question of the selection of a man to
lead in this new and responsible phase of the Convention's work
was taken up. After much prayer for divine guidance and much dis-
cussion of men and qualifications, a vote was taken, and Charles E.
Maddry was the unanimous choice.
I came back to Raleigh, knowing full well that I had indeed come
face to face with a decision that might well mean a complete and
far-reaching change in all the course of my life. I faced the challenge
Call and Commitment 69
of a new and untried work that would take me into all the states
of the South. Some months before this, I had confided to my wife the
fact of the growing conviction that my work was about finished in
North Carolina. To my surprise, she quietly said that she had been
praying about the matter for some time and felt that the time had
come for a change in my lifework. In 1925, we had completed a new
home in Raleigh and were well on the way toward paying for it. My
wife's parents were living in Raleigh and were both beyond eighty
years of age. We dreaded the thought of breaking all the ties that
bound us to the Old North State and beginning all over again in a
new community. However, we were to learn through the months and
years that the work of the kingdom of God was not bound by state
or national lines, but was as worldwide as man's sin and need for
It was a hard decision to make. I had enjoyed the confidence and
loyalty of the brotherhood in North Carolina in a most remarkable
and satisfying way for eleven and a half years. There was no division
in the ranks, and so far as I could see, the happy relationship of loyalty
and fellowship would have been continued.
After days of heart-searching prayer for divine guidance, I decided
that God was leading in this new venture, and I accepted the work.
A call for a special meeting of the general board was sent out for
the latter part of June, 1932. I submitted my resignation effective
July 15 and made preparation to move to Nashville, Tennessee.
Mr. M. A. Huggins was elected my successor, and for twenty-two
years he has led North Carolina Baptists in a wise and constructive
program. He is greatly beloved by all our people. It took him ten years
to pay off the debt on Meredith College and redeem the honor and
credit of the convention. He has served longer in the difficult and
exacting position of general secretary than any other man in the more
than one hundred and twenty years of the life of the convention.
Executive Secretary of Promotion— Southern Baptist Convention
On August, 1, 1932, I began work in Nashville as executive sec-
retary of the Promotion Committee of the Southern Baptist Conven-
tion. I had an office with the Executive Committee in the Sunday
School Board building. Walter M. Gilmore of North Carolina, who
had worked with me as director of publicity for the North Carolina
Baptist State Convention, was made publicity director for Southern
Baptists. He was a tireless worker, and our close association in the
70 Charles E. Maddry— An Autobiography
denominational work bound us together in loving and helpful fellow-
ship through the years.
The task to which I had been called was a new departure for
Southern Baptists. It was an organized and aggressive effort to
promote the Cooperative Program through stewardship, tithing, and
the weekly offerings. The leaders were the state secretaries, pastors,
and heads of all boards and agencies. The immediate objective of
the Promotion Committee was to prepare the churches for a simulta-
neous every-member canvass in all the states during the month of
November, 1932. The first task was the preparation of literature
for this supreme effort in behalf of a united support for all our
missionary, educational, and benevolent work through the Coopera-
I left Secretary Gilmore to carry on the office end of the work in
Nashville while I went afield, speaking before churches, associations,
laymen's conventions and W. M. U. meetings in an effort to stir up
interest and enthusiasm in a new and concerted movement for a more
generous and united support of our work. I divided my time with
the several state secretaries, who made the engagements and directed
my efforts in the several states.
I filled engagements in Tennessee, Louisiana, Texas, New Mexico,
Oklahoma, Maryland, and Virginia. The work was hard, the schedules
were heavy, and long distances had to be traveled to meet engage-
ments. While the progress toward a united program was encouraging,
and the every-member canvass was a great advance over the old
haphazard method of supporting the work of our Southwide boards,
institutions, and agencies, it was far from being complete in all the
churches. A good beginning had been made, but there must be more
teaching and preaching of New Testament principles of stewardship
before even a majority of the members in the thousands of Southern
Baptist churches would come to a worthy and adequate support of
all the missionary, benevolent, and educational causes embraced in
the Cooperative Program. The way was opened for the larger enlist-
ment in the co-operative work of Southern Baptists and the enlarged
efficiency of the Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Con-
Accepting a World Commission
The foreign mission board was in desperate financial straits. Not
only had banks in Richmond refused further credit, but they were
demanding substantial payments on their loans. Gifts from the
churches were declining in an appalling way, and we faced disaster
at home and abroad. The Board had made worldwide commitments
for the support of American and native missionaries. These commit-
ments could no longer be met, and the Board was facing the most
embarrassing situation which had ever confronted it in the ninety-
odd years since its organization in Augusta in 1830.
At the annual meeting in October, 1932, the missionaries on fur-
lough, thirty-two in all, were instructed not to return to their fields,
and the salaries, children's allowances, and house rent were discon-
tinued. Some of these faithful servants of Christ were aged, sick,
and suffering. Appropriations for native work, salaries of pastors,
support of schools, hospitals, and all other phases of the work were
drastically cut, and all work possible was discontinued at home and
abroad. Many volunteers for world missions, already approved, were
notified they could not be sent to their chosen fields.
The four banks in Richmond which held the Board's notes for one
million dollars advised the Board that the total appropriation for
the year 1933 must be held down to $600,000 and that out of this
must be paid the interest on the loans. It was a critical hour for
The Foreign Mission Board had been looking for an Executive
Secretary ever since Dr. Love's death. Dr. T. B. Ray, who had come
to the Board in Dr. Willingham's day as Secretary of Education, had
in turn served as Home Secretary and Foreign Secretary. In 1928,
upon the death of Dr. Love, he had been made acting Executive
Secretary, and in 1930, Executive Secretary. A committee which was
appointed to seek for a permanent secretary had not been successful
72 Charles E. Maddry— An Autobiography
in finding the man they wanted who would undertake the heavy and
responsible job of trying to save the work of the Board in the
desperate situation confronting the Southern Baptist foreign mission
work at that time.
Searching for a Leader
The first man approached was Dr. George W. Truett of Dallas,
Texas. Dr. Truett declined, and the committee offered the position
in turn to Dr. Fred F. Brown, Dr. J. B. Weatherspoon, Dr. Solon B.
Cousins, Dr. Louie D. Newton, Dr. C. D. Daniel and possibly others.
All declined. The Board met in annual session in October, 1932. After
the committee had reported its inability to agree upon a man for
Executive Secretary, the Board was then completely reorganized
and L. Howard Jenkins, a prominent business man of Richmond, was
elected president. A new committee on securing an Executive Secre-
tary was appointed. They organized and evidently decided that the
time had come to take a plunge, for the situation was desperate.
I had gone from Nashville to speak before the Knox County Baptist
Association, meeting some fifteen miles from Knoxville. A messenger
came out to the association with a request for me to call the Baptist
Foreign Mission Board in Richmond. I was on the program to speak
in the mid-afternoon.
After adjournment, I went back to Knoxville and put in a call
for Richmond, but the connection was delayed, and I was just getting
in bed at the hotel when the call came through. Drs. C. C. Coleman
and John F. Vines informed me tiiat the Board had just elected me
as Executive Secretary and had adjourned after appointing them to
notify me of the action. I was taken by surprise, because no member
of the committee had ever approached me on the matter, but I in-
formed the committee that the matter would be taken under advise-
ment, and that they would receive an answer in a few days.
Certainly the leaders had taken a surprising and desperate gamble
in calling me forth as the new Secretary. If I possessed any qualifica-
tion for the position of leadership in the cause of foreign missions
of Southern Baptists, it was my enthusiasm and my passion for world
Before going to sleep that night in Knoxville, I called my wife and
informed her of the surprising action of the Foreign Mission Board.
Her reply was that she thought I had already a task in Nashville big
enough for any one man.
Accepting a World Commission 73
On Monday, January 2, 1933, I entered upon my duties as the
Executive Secretary of the Foreign Mission Board of the Southern
Baptist Convention. The first secretary, Dr. James B. Taylor, a native
of Britain, served twenty-seven years, from 1845 to 1872. Dr. H. A.
Tupper of South Carolina served twenty-one years and four months,
from 1872 to 1893. Dr. Robert J. Willingham of Georgia also served
twenty-one years and four months, from 1893 to 1914. Dr. James F.
Love of North Carolina served fourteen years, from 1914 to 1928.
Dr. T. B. Ray of Kentucky served four years, from 1928 to 1932. I
served twelve years, from 1933 to 1945. Thus these six men served
the Foreign Mission Board as Secretaries for one hundred years.
A few weeks after I began my work in Richmond, a committee
representing the four Richmond banks that held the notes of the
Board for more than a million dollars requested Mr. L. Howard
Jenkins, the newly-elected President of the Board, for a conference
with chosen representatives from the banks. We went to see the
bankers as requested. At the meeting of the Board on October 12, 1932,
the budget for 1933 had been fixed at $600,000. Out of this was to
come first the interest on our notes, amounting to $67,000. This left
only $533,000 for all the work of the Board in 1933. At the October
meeting it was found impossible to continue much of the work in
foreign lands. When we met with the committee of bankers, we were
informed that the Board must pay $150,000 of the $533,000 budget
on the principal of the debt. My committee was thrown into con-
sternation by this announcement. An earnest plea was made that
the Board be allowed to go on with the budget as fixed in October.
After quite a bit of discussion on both sides, Mr. Burnett, president
of the First and Merchants Bank, who was presiding over the meeting,
said that his committee would like to hear from the new Secretary
as to his plans for paying the debts of the Board.
I then stated to the bankers that if they carried out their proposed
plans to take out of our budget of $600,000, $67,000 for interest
together with $150,000 additional to be applied on the principal
of the debt, it would completely paralyze the Board as a going concern
and bring disaster to all the foreign mission work of the Southern
Baptist Convention. I reminded him that the Foreign Mission Board
had been doing business with these banks for more than ninety years
and that they had never lost a cent in principal or interest from our
Board. I told them that Southern Baptists were going to continue do-
ing foreign mission work and that if they persisted in their plans, they
74 Charles E. Maddry— An Autobiography
would put the Foreign Mission Board out of business completely. I
also informed them that Southern Baptists would send their mission
funds direct to the missionaries on the various fields over the world.
I told them that our people would pay them every cent they owed
them, providing they would allow us to carry on as a going concern.
I further reminded them that their notes would be paid, every cent
with interest, provided they allowed us to function as agreed upon
at the October meeting of the Board. I stated that if they insisted
on their demands as announced, their notes were not worth the paper
they were written on and that they were planning to "kill the goose
that laid the golden egg." Mr. Burnett said, with a smile, that that
sounded like common sense to him. He asked for further discussion
from his committee and they unanimously agreed to allow us to go
on as planned at the October meeting of the Board.
The committee requested us to pay every cent possible if we
should receive more than anticipated for the 1933 budget. We
heartily agreed to this, and the meeting was adjourned with a feeling
of confidence and a better understanding all around.
I will here anticipate events to say that in two years we had paid
$250,000 on our notes. The crisis was past, and the credit of the
Board was firmly established with the Richmond bankers.
The paralyzing debt began to bear heavily upon those who really
loved foreign missions. It started first in Richmond. Dr. Wade H.
Bryant, pastor of the Barton Heights Baptist Church, organized a
club in his church with each member pledging to pay twenty-five
cents a week for the debt on the Foreign Mission Board. Miss Blanche
White, W. M. U. secretary of Virginia, heartily endorsed the move-
ment and the W. M. U. organizations of Virginia took it up with
enthusiasm. It spread rapidly among the churches of Virginia, and
while it seemed small in the beginning, it was soon apparent that a
similar method would eventually bring relief to the Foreign Mission
Board if the other states of the South would take it up with the
same enthusiasm. The Foreign Mission Board was able to report
to the next Convention that several thousand dollars had been already
paid on the debt.
At the meeting of the Convention in Washington, D. C, in May,
1933, the matter was brought before the people by Dr. Frank Tripp.
A committee was appointed to work out a plan for the payment of
the debts of all the boards, institutions, and agencies of the Conven-
tion. The committee reported a plan asking the churches to secure
Accepting a World Commission 75
from every member as much as a dollar a month with which to pay
all the debts of all the agencies of the Convention. Many church
members took out several club memberships and thus the movement
was an assured success. We owe an everlasting debt of gratitude to
Brethren Bryant and Tripp for bringing forward a plan whereby the
debts of the Convention were eventually all paid.
The Foreign Board in the flush days of 1920, out of receipts from
the 75 Million Campaign, had purchased a wonderful piece of prop-
erty, splendidly located in the heart of downtown Rome. In the
summer of 1934, the Board sent the Executive Secretary to Rome to
sell this property. The original cost was $180,000. After many dif-
ficulties, we sold the property to an international insurance company
for $312,000. When the agent's fee, sale taxes, and other incidental
expenses had been paid, I brought home and applied on the debts
of the four banks in Richmond $292,000. The bankers were greatly
pleased, and our credit was gilt-edged from that day. Within six
months after we sold the property, Mussolini confiscated it for one-
third of its value.
In the fall of 1933, in the midst of the worst financial storm America
had ever experienced, at the annual meeting I presented to the Board
a plan to provide for a modest pension for missionaries upon retire-
ment at seventy years of age or upon becoming disabled by ill health
before reaching the age of seventy.
The plan provided for the payment of five dollars by the Board
and five dollars per month by the missionary. This was sixty dollars
a year out of the meager salary of $800 per year paid the missionary.
The Relief and Annuity Board was to handle the matter. The Foreign
Board was the first Board or agency of the Convention to work out
any plan of retirement for its employees. Dr. Thomas J. Watts was
anxious to have our Board take the lead in the matter. In a few
months all the other Boards and Agencies followed suit and the
popularity of the Relief and Annuity Board was in the ascendency
immediately. The missionaries henceforth upon retirement had five
hundred dollars each per year. For a couple, that meant one thousand
dollars per year. Many of them bought modest homes at our educa-
tional institutions and upon retirement settled in an environment
where they were in touch with old friends and associates. The Board
never did anything that was more popular and gave more satisfaction
to Baptists in general. The matter took hold of me deeply because on
the same day I was elected Executive Secretary thirty-two mis-
76 Charles E. Maddry— An Autobiography
sionaries who were at home on furlough were dismissed. If friends,
relatives, and churches had not come to their relief, they would have
faced dire sufferings. I went over the South literally begging money
for these stranded missionaries. I determined that such a tragedy in
the lives of worthy and devoted missionaries and their children should
never happen again.
For many years the Home and Foreign Boards had published a
monthly missionary magazine called Home and Foreign Fields. The
Sunday School Board paid for the publication. They lost money on
the magazine every year. In 1937, the Sunday School Board reported
to the Southern Baptist Convention that they had lost fifteen thousand
dollars in the fifteen years in the publication of Home and Foreign
Fields. They asked to be relieved of the burden.
This left the two mission boards without an organ of communica-
tion with the churches. I felt that something must be done to relieve
this situation. I made a trip to Atlanta for a conference with Dr.
Lawrence, Secretary of the Home Board. I proposed that we publish
jointly a magazine edited by the Secretaries and paid for by the two
boards. Dr. Lawrence replied that he preferred to publish a large
home mission tract quarterly, and he did not believe we could
succeed any better than the Sunday School Board had done with
a joint magazine.
The Foreign Board had published a magazine just before the
Civil War called The Commission. I decided to revive this magazine
and called to my assistance Miss Inabelle Coleman, assistant to Dr.
J. Clyde Turner in the work of the First Baptist Church in Greensboro.
Miss Coleman had decided gifts as a writer and was a real artist in
the make-up of the magazine. We proposed to publish four numbers
the first year. The response was so generous on the part of the
denomination that we published six numbers the first year. The price
was fifty cents a year, and the subscriptions rolled in in great numbers.
Some of my brethren said we could never publish a worthy mission
journal for the ridiculous price of fifty cents a year. The magazine
grew by leaps and justified my contention that with mass circulation
we would make good. I edited the magazine for five years; then
Dr. E. C. Routh was called as editor. He was a gifted and experienced
editor and soon doubled the subscription list of the Commission. He
was followed by Dr. Joseph Nordenhaug, who edited the magazine
for some two years and then resigned to become president of our
European Theological Seminary at Zurich, Switzerland.
Accepting a World Commission 77
He was followed by Dr. Frank K. Means. He is a gifted writer
and editor. With the coming of World War II, the price of the
magazine had to be increased to one dollar per year. The subscription
list of The Commission had grown to more than one hundred thou-
sand. The growth and popularity of the magazine has entirely
justified the belief that an informative magazine at a popular price
would appeal to the denomination. I sincerely believe that The
Commission has played a major role in the rehabilitation of the work
of the Foreign Mission Board at home and abroad. The Commission
will compare favorably in literary value and influence with any de-
nominational missionary journal published in America. Miss Marjorie
Moore (now Mrs. O. K. Armstrong), Miss lone Gray, and others
have made it a very attractive magazine.
I realized early in my service with the Board that the work was
worldwide in its ramifications and that one man alone could never
meet the responsibilities and direct the operations of five hundred
missionaries widely separated in sixteen different countries on three
continents. In addition to the supervision of the work abroad, there
was the conduct of the work in the homeland. When I went to
Richmond in 1933, the staff consisted of the Secretary, one assistant
secretary, the treasurer, one girl assistant, two stenographers, one
woman who handled the distribution of study books, tracts and litera-
ture, and an office boy. This meant that there were eight persons in all
to handle the Foreign Mission enterprise of six million Baptists
gathered in seven thousand churches. It was an impossible situation,
and before I had been in the work three months I determined to do
something about it.
On my visit to Japan and China in 1935, I was accompanied by
my wife and Dr. and Mrs. J. B. Weatherspoon. The Weatherspoons
paid their own expenses, and I borrowed the money and paid Mrs.
Maddry's expenses as I did on each mission tour. I had already made
up my mind to recommend to the Board on my return the election
of a regional secretary for the Orient. The question was upon the
selection of the right man. Dr. Weatherspoon and I agreed that he
should be an experienced man from China. I was seriously considering
a brother who possessed many of the qualifications I felt were needed
in this man. Dr. Weatherspoon advised me to wait until we reached
Canton and see Missionary M. T. Rankin before making a decision.
He had been a missionary in South China for twenty years, was widely
known in mission circles throughout China, and was greatly beloved
78 Charles E. Maddry— An Autobiography
by missionaries and national Christians alike. For some years he had
been president of the Graves Theological Seminary in Canton. He
had married Valleria Greene, a daughter of Dr. George Greene, a
North Carolinian and a missionary beloved in China.
We landed in Hong Kong one day about noon and met Dr. Rankin.
Missionary John Lake had chartered a small steamer to carry our
party to Tai Kam Island, ninety miles out in the China Sea, for a visit
to his leper colony. He was to organize a church composed of forty
lepers together with himself and wife. It was a great experience for
all of us. About thirty Chinese leaders of the South China Baptist
Convention together with quite a number of missionaries accom-
On the way back from Tai Kam the next afternoon, Dr. Weather-
spoon and I drew Dr. Rankin aside and sat down together in a little
lifeboat. There, as our ship plowed its way through the quiet waters
of the China Sea, we laid before Dr. Rankin our plans for the re-
organization of our foreign mission work in the Orient and offered
him the position. He was greatly surprised and could not give his
answer at once. Some three weeks later, after he had prayed the mat-
ter through, he notified us that he would accept the call of the Board
as the call of God. We had cabled our recommendation to the
Board in Richmond and in a few days received a cable in reply saying
that Dr. Rankin had been elected regional secretary for the Orient.
I felt then, and I know now, that this was the greatest thing I ever
did for foreign missions.
As I visited the other mission fields in Europe, Africa, the Near
East, and Latin America, I recommended the election of regional
secretaries for these areas. My recommendations were accepted by
the Board, and George W. Sadler who had served many years as a
missionary in Nigeria was elected for Europe, Africa, and the Near
East, and W. C. Taylor was elected for Latin America. Dr. Taylor was
succeeded by Everett Gill, Jr. Winston Crawley succeeded Dr. Gill.
Visiting Mission Fields in Europe
Early in june, 1934, 1 started on my first visit to the European mission
fields of our Foreign Mission Board. The purpose of this visit was
manifold. First, the work in all the European countries, especially
in Italy, needed to be reorganized and to have its relation toward
the parent body in America reaffirmed. In the early days, the work,
pastoral as well as church buildings and equipment, was supported
by the Board in Richmond. There had been a growing feeling on the
part of the supporting churches in the South and the Board in
Richmond that the time had fully come for the national churches
in the several lands in Europe to assume a larger share in the support
of their own pastors and in the organization of new work in the
regions still unevangelized in their respective fields.
After the Board sent the first missionary couple to Italy in 1872,
the work was difficult and the progress disappointingly slow. The
churches seemed content to continue receiving support from the
Richmond Board and were doing little toward self-support. They were
making little effort to evangelize the villages and towns in the out-
What was true of the churches in Italy was equally true in Spain,
Jugoslavia, Rumania, and Hungary, for which Southern Baptists
assumed responsibility after World War I. The new Executive Secre-
tary was sent over by the Board with instructions to do everything
possible to reorganize the work and to induce the churches to launch
a worthy program of self-support and make an honest effort toward
evangelism and expansion.
Our work in Europe was largely with the middle and lower classes.
The economic status of the church members was very low, and the
problem of making a living was vital. The work had always been
generously supported by the friends in America, and the average
church member was content to continue enjoying the bounty of
80 Charles E. Maddry— An Autobiography
their good brethren. It was easy for the pastors, who received a
monthly check from Richmond, to make little or no effort to teach
stewardship and self-support in the churches. If a new chapel or
school was needed, generous friends in America would provide the
Mission churches in other lands had this same attitude toward the
question of self-support. I had found that true in the work of state
missions in the home land. Churches that had been supported by
the Board for a generation were sometimes reluctant to undertake
Accompanied by Mrs. Maddry, I sailed on a mono-class boat from
Norfolk, Virginia. During the ten days of crossing, I had time for
quiet rest and relaxation; I had little time for rest in the next three
After landing at Le Havre, France, we took the boat train up to
Paris. We spent several days in Paris and made a brief visit to the
battlefields of northern France. I was saddened and deeply impressed
with the quiet and beauty of the Memorial Cemetery and battlefield
of Belleau Wood. Here under neat marble crosses sleep more than
2,200 American men. All over Europe I saw these well-kept American
cemeteries where lie buried hundreds of American boys who died
in the vain belief that they were fighting to make the world safe for
From Paris we traveled to Madrid, Spain, where we were met by
our missionary superintendent for Spain, Nils Bengtson.
English and Swedish Baptists were in Spain before World War I,
but both of these groups retired after the war, and we assumed full
responsibility in 1922 in accordance with the agreement in the London
Baptist Conference in 1920. All Swedish Baptist missionaries in Spain
had died or resigned except Reverend Nils Bengtson and his wife,
faithful and worthy missionaries of this Board for many years.
The work has been slow and very difficult in Spain, which has
been dominated by the Roman Catholic Church for centuries. The
Reformation took hold of the upper and educated classes; they were
the only ones who could read and thus learn the doctrines of Luther
and Calvin. The Roman Catholic priesthood held the masses in ig-
norance and bondage to the Catholic Church. Since the Jesuits
organized the Spanish Inquisition to root out the very seeds of the
Reformation, Spain had suffered stagnation and death under the heels
of Rome for three hundred years. Visitors are shown a public square
Visiting Mission Fields in Europe 81
in Madrid where 3300 martyrs to the cause of Christ and the Reforma-
tion paid the supreme price for their faith by being burned at the
stake. Since the very seeds of Protestantism were rooted out, it can
readily be understood why the soil of Spain has not been very fertile
for Baptists and the Baptist message.
But in these years we have made a splendid and inspiring begin-
ning. 1 Let it be remembered that the Baptist movement in Spain, as
well as in all Europe, is a peasant movement, and while our people
in all these lands are very poor, there is a vigor and virility about the
work that promises much for the future. The pastors are, for the most
part, untrained, but they are a devoted and courageous set of men.
In a land of ignorance, superstition, arrested development, and stag-
nation, such as we cannot even imagine in America, they are bearing
faithful witness to the gospel of Jesus as Baptists understand it.
We spent ten strenuous days with our churches in Spain and went
on to Italy. In Genoa, we were met by our superintendent of the
Italian Mission, Dr. D. G. Whittinghill. Ascending the imposing
marble stairs leading to the magnificent station, I saw an elderly
gentleman standing at the top of the stairway fanning himself with
a straw hat. I drew near and said, "I am looking for Dr. D. G.
Whittinghill, an American." He replied, "I am looking for Dr. and
Mrs. Charles E. Maddry, of Richmond." Thus began an intimate and
delightful fellowship with Dr. and Mrs. Whittinghill.
Some eighty years ago, Dr. George B. Taylor of Virginia, our first
Southern Baptist missionary sent out from the homeland, laid the
foundations for our work in Italy. In 1880 Dr. John H. Eager was
appointed and labored for fifteen years. Fifty years ago the Board
sent out Dr. D. G. Whittinghill to open a seminary for the training
of a native ministry. After marrying Susy, the daughter of Dr. Taylor,
he succeeded Dr. Taylor as superintendent and treasurer of our
Italian Mission. Dr. Whittinghill did a far-reaching and monumental
work in the training of a devoted and aggressive group of Baptist
pastors and leaders. Almost eveiy pastor we met in Italy had studied
under him at some time. Mrs. Whittinghill was the founder of the
Italian Woman's Missionary Union. Rev. J. P. Stuart and family and
Rev. and Mrs. C. J. F. Anderson rendered short but fruitful ministry
In 1904 Dr. Everett Gill, Sr., went to Europe and through the
1 In 1953, 27 churches, 22 pastors, and 1804 members were reported.
82 Charles E. Maddry— An Autobiography
years that followed did a notable work not only in Italy but the
Balkans. He was our Southern Baptist representative in Europe
1921-1939. The Board never had a finer, or more gifted and capable
representative anywhere than Everett Gill. He was always the patient,
sympathetic gentleman; and Southern Baptists and the Foreign Mis-
sion Board owe him a debt they can never pay, for the discreet and
Christlike way in which he administered our work in Europe and
the Near East in those critical and trying years following World
War I. Mrs. Gill was equally efficient and helpful in leadership among
the women. She and Dr. Gill both have made a lasting contribution
to our Baptist work in Europe by writing and preparing mission study
books and literature for the missionary societies, churches, training
schools, and theological seminaries. Loved and honored by all who
know them, the Gills are now retired and live in Wake Forest.
Faithful Italian preachers, grounded in the doctrines of the New
Testament, have valiantly preached the Word and spread the good
news through the years. Many of these devoted servants of Christ
have suffered for the sake of the gospel; many have been relentlessly
and cruelly persecuted by Rome and her blind and fanatical priest-
hood, and even today they themselves, their wives, and their children,
suffer in untold ways for the sake of the gospel.
Everywhere I went in Italy, I found the people hungry for the
Bread of life. The people came in crowds to jam the churches and
preaching halls to hear sermons preached stumblingly through an
interpreter. And everywhere there were confessions for Christ— in
some places faster than they could be counted. It is significant that
most of those confessing Christ were adults. In their conservatism
and reaction against Rome's method of receiving children, perhaps
our pastors have gone too far the other way in their reluctance to
insist upon young people coming to Christ. The churches were failing
in the teaching and training of their young people.
For years Baptist pastors and churches in Italy were not taught
the vital importance of becoming self-supporting and independent,
but they are not to blame for this situation. The idea of an independ-
ent, self-governing, self-supporting church, made up solely of baptized
believers, maintaining and supporting their own work and worship,
gained headway slowly.
After visiting many of our churches, from the valleys of the Alps
on the French border in the north, to Naples in the south, I called
a meeting of all our station pastors in the city of Rome, on July 22,
Visiting Mission Fields in Europe 83
23, and 24. They were all there, and it was the first time in eight
years they had been together for a general meeting of any kind. Some
of the pastors had not seen each other for over ten years. I had drawn
up beforehand and had translated into Italian a suggested plan for
the organization of a National Italian Baptist Union and a mission
board. This plan, which we submitted on the first day of the meeting,
provoked a three-day debate.
The following is a brief summary of the plan of organization
Believing that the time has fully come when the Italian Baptist Mission should
assume more responsibility for the financial support and direction of our Baptist
work in Italy, and believing that Baptist churches should at the earliest possible
time become autonomous, self-governing, self-supporting, and self-perpetuating,
we, the representatives of the Foreign Mission Board of Richmond, Virginia
( U.S.A. ), offer the following suggestions, looking forward toward the reorganiza-
tion of our Italian Baptist Mission:
An Italian Baptist Union shall be organized. The object and purpose of the Union
( 1 ) To elicit, combine, and organize the strength, energy, and zeal of Italian
Baptists, for the purpose of carrying out the great Commission of Jesus to give
the good news of salvation to all the world, beginning in Italy; to teach and train
disciples in all the things commanded by Jesus and to do all other things possible
to hasten the Reign of our Blessed Redeemer on earth, as we may be led by the
( 2 ) Every organized church shall be entitled to send TWO messengers to the
annual meeting of the National Union and ONE additional messenger for every
unit of twenty-five members after the first twenty-five.
The item that caused so much debate was as follows :
( 6 ) The Board of Directors shall take out articles of incorporation under the
laws of Italy and shall take and hold title to all property hereafter acquired by
the National Union, such as chapels, preaching halls, pastors' houses, and all
other property that may be used for purposes of worship in the conduct of the
general work of the Union. The Board of Directors shall be the legal and respon-
sible entity for the conduct and direction of all Baptist work in Italy; it being
the purpose of the Foreign Mission Board to turn over to Italian Baptists the
church buildings now used strictly for worship and as homes for pastors; it being
agreed that no property given by the Foreign Mission Board shall be sold or
mortgaged without consent and approval of the Foreign Mission Board.
This was finally adopted when the Foreign Secretaiy announced
that the American Board would withdraw from Italy unless the plan
submitted was adopted. The Italian pastors voted with great reluc-
tance to accept it.
When we took over the work of English Baptists in Italy in 1922,
we bought their chapels and pastors' homes. All this property cost
84 Charles E. Maddry— An Autobiography
us a "pretty sum," and we owed for it in the banks of Richmond.
In addition, we bought some thirty-five acres on a hill overlooking
the city of Rome, and in the heart of the city we bought a whole city
block. However, the government had declared this property to be
within the zone of "monuments of antiquity," and we could not change
the property, improve it, sell it, or build upon it, without the consent
of the government. After eighteen months, some twenty acres of our
suburban property were expropriated by the government for a
gymnasium for their Balilla, or young people's movement. We did
everything possible to secure payment for this land; the United States
Embassy did all they could to help us. We did finally get the govern-
ment to fix a price for the land taken— one third of its assured value,
and they promised to pay us lira 951,000 ($82,000), setting the date
for payment as July 28. Later they promised to pay us lira 500,000
on September 28, and the remainder the next July. Later they
expropriated the remainder of the suburban land and finally, after
long delay, the government paid for it at their own valuation.
At this time negotiations were begun to sell the downtown prop-
erty, the results of which enabled us to apply $292,000 on the debt
of the Foreign Mission Board.
Accompanied by Dr. Whittinghill, we called upon the brilliant and
influential Italian attorney of our Board, Mr. Del Fratte. This gentle-
man was highly considered in international legal circles and enjoyed
a large and lucrative practice. He was the legal representative for the
United States Government in the delicate and tedious negotiations
leading up to the purchase of the magnificent Embassy building in
Rome, located a short distance from our property on Piazza Barberini.
Mr. Del Fratte was a freethinker. He had married a charming
American Presbyterian woman who was a particular friend of the
Whittinghills, the leaders of our Italian Mission. Through this social
connection, our Board was able, for twenty-five years, to command
the services of this leading attorney for a nominal annual retainer.
Mr. Del Fratte received us with all the grace and charm of a
polished and cultured Italian gentleman. After a few minutes of
polite conversation, we proceeded to the business in hand.
"Mr. Del Fratte," said Dr. Whittinghill, "Dr. Maddry is the Exec-
utive Secretary of the Foreign Mission Board in Richmond. He is
here under instructions from his Board to negotiate a sale of the
Board's Piazza Barberini property. He wants to employ you to handle
the whole matter for the owners in America."
Visiting Mission Fields in Europe 85
"Yes," I said, "The Board has at last fully decided to sell this
property just as soon as a purchaser can be found. We have become
alarmed after our recent experience with the high-handed and unjust
methods of the Italian government in the Monte Mario property
transaction. I am here under instructions to arrange for the sale."
"Have you been able to secure the approval of the leaders of the
Italian Convention for this sale?" asked Mr. Del Fratte. "I am in-
formed that they have taken the position that this property was
purchased as an intended gift for the work of the Italian National
Baptist Convention. They feel that the proceeds of this sale should
be used in Italy for the enlargement of the Italian work. Unless they
are satisfied and approve the transaction, your efforts to sell the
property are doomed to failure."
"We have been in session with the leaders of the Baptist work in
Italy for four days. Last night a compromise was unanimously agreed
upon, and as you can see by this resolution, this phase of the matter
has been settled in a way satisfactory to all concerned."
Mr. Del Fratte carefully examined the paper presented to him.
"It is fortunate, indeed, that you have first arrived at a satisfactory
understanding with your co-religionists here in Italy. Their approval
and co-operation are necessary."
"Do you think you can sell the property? How much can you get
for it?" inquired the debt-conscious mission secretary.
"The property," replied Mr. Del Fratte, "is easily worth half a
million dollars. It we were given a free hand in an open market, it
would bring that sum. But I am reliably informed that Mussolini has
already decided to expropriate this property for his new building
for the Department of Foreign Affairs of the Italian Government.
Orders have gone forth for the preparation of architectural plans for
the building. He is only waiting for the furor created in Washington
over the Monte Mario steal to die down before proceeding with
this new seizure.
"My advice to you is to make a sale as soon as possible." The
attorney continued, "Italy is already bankrupt. Mussolini is seeking
for new sources of taxation. If he does not confiscate your property
straight out, he will levy a heavy capital tax that will consume it
all anyway. You are both heretics and foreigners in Italy. My advice,
therefore, is to sell at once and sell only for dollars, American exchange
in New York. If you sell for lires, you will never be able to get a penny
of the money out of Italy."
86 Charles E. Maddry— An Autobiography
"Well, Mr. Attorney, the matter is in your hands. Proceed as soon
as possible to find a purchaser who has sufficient financial backing
in New York."
"I have a good prospect already, I think. An international insurance
company with plenty of financial backing has decided to establish
an European headquarters, and they are giving Rome first considera-
tion. I have a 'hunch' as you Americans say, that I have a good chance
to make a sale to them."
After the final details of our business matters were settled, Mr. Del
Fratte invited the Americans to dinner the following evening. He had
a magnificent estate, a beautiful villa located on four acres of land
on the crest of Monte Mario, overlooking the Vatican and the "City
of the Seven Hills."
After dinner, our host grew communicative and talked of Italy
and her coming doom under the domination of the "Sawdust Caesar."
"Tell us, Mr. Del Fratte," said the Mission Secretary, "With your
well-known and outspoken views on democracy and the freedom of
die individual, how have you escaped the wrath of the Fascist
Dictator all these years?"
"Well," replied Mr. Del Fratte, "Thereby hangs a tale. Many years
ago, my father who was a prominent attorney, a freethinker, and a
passionate advocate of the freedoms of the mind and conscience of
the individual in all matters of religious faith and civic conduct,
clashed with the authorities in Rome. He was thrown into prison and
refused a hearing on the trumped-up charges filed against him. In
spite of all his efforts to have the issue brought to trial, he languished
in prison for several weeks. He was finally released, the charges
against him having been dismissed. He came out of prison embittered
against the ruling powers."
"So I judge you hold the same views of your father concerning
civic and religious liberty."
"Yes, I am a firm advocate of civil and religious freedom for every
soul in the world. We have little of either in Italy. I hate Mussolini
and all his works. He is fast leading Italy to a doom worse than that
visited upon her by the Goths and Vandals in the fifth century. I
see nothing but ruin awaiting my country and my people. The end
is not far away. The crash is on the way, and it is going to be appalling
when it comes."
Six months later, in mid-Pacific on a ship bound for the Orient,
I received from Rome a long radiogram in code, which when trans-
Visiting Mission Fields in Europe 87
lated brought the thrilling news that the Piazza Barberini property
had been sold for $312,500 payable in American dollars in New York!
The Mission Board's credit was saved. The faith and morale of
the denomination was lifted to new heights. For once the "Sawdust
Caesar" had been outwitted.
The property in Italy had been a hindrance and not a help to us.
It took much of the time and energy of one missionary to look after
the property and collect the rents. In addition it had created a false
impression upon our Italian brethren because it led them to believe
that we were rolling in wealth and would continue to support them
forever. Therefore, this property was harmful, not beneficial, to our
After our work was finished in Italy, we left by train for Oberam-
mergau, Germany, to see the Passion Play. We were assigned to the
home of the man who played the part of Christ. To be in this delight-
ful home was a distinct privilege. We met interesting people and
enjoyed our stay there.
The play itself is indescribable. For eight hours, along with four
thousand other guests from all over the world, I was enraptured
and enthralled with this incomparable drama which is put on every
ten years by these simple peasants of the mountain village of Oberam-
We spent ten days in Berlin attending the meeting of the Baptist
World Alliance. During our stay in Germany, President Hindenburg
died, and Hitler came to power. It was an exciting and crucial time
for the German people.
I had been invited to deliver an address before the World Alliance,
the subject assigned being "The Implication and Outreach of the
Great Commission." The addresses were printed in German, and all
were carefully censored by the German committee. All references
to democracy were carefully eliminated.
In 1921, as a result of the decisions of the London conference, the
Foreign Mission Board had begun its work in Hungary in co-operation
with the Hungarian Baptist Union. The close of the first World War
had left the people of Hungary in a tragic and deplorable plight.
Never in modern times has a people been more terribly punished for
a losing war than Hungary was at the Paris Peace Conference. By
this treaty, Hungary lost seventy-one per cent of her territory and
sixty-three per cent of her population. It was hard for a great modern
nation like Hungary to live under the conditions imposed by the
88 Charles E. Maddry— An Autobiography
treaty. A great French geographer has declared that the territory of
Hungary before the war was the "most perfect geographical unit in
the world." Hungary had possessed eveiything a modern nation
needs to make her great— mountains, waterpower, coal, iron and other
minerals, forests, building stone, navigable rivers, and a vast and
fertile plain, which has been called the "granary of Europe." At the
close of World War I, Hungary had 23,000 Baptists, organized in an
efficient and progressive union. The division of Hungary left the
Union with 7000 members.
Our Baptist work was prosperous, considering the conditions exist-
ing in Hungary. We owned the seminary buildings, the gift of Miss
Varina Brown of South Carolina. This property, formerly a magnif-
icent home, was located on a very prominent boulevard across the
Danube from the great Parliament buildings. It extended through the
block facing on two streets. In this property were several stores and
apartments, which were rented. 2
The territory of Jugoslavia lies along the Adriatic Sea, from Trieste
on the north to Albania and Greece on the south, and inland to the
Danube River. The name means "South Slavs," and the people belong
to the great Slavic family. Intensely religious and musical, they are
an aggressive, vigorous, hardy, and virile race, constituting some of
the finest raw material in all Europe from which to make Baptists.
They live in the very region adjoining Macedonia where Paul
preached and established churches nineteen hundred years ago.
The story of the beginnings of our Baptist work in Jugoslavia
sounds like a second record of the Acts of the Apostles being written
today. The work had its beginnings in 1922. Though the population
is made up of many language and dialect groups, the people are all
cousins and of one Slavic origin.
The supreme need was for someone to teach and train a native
ministry. God had called and raised up a worthy and promising group
of young men for the ministry, but they were helpless without some-
one to teach and guide them.
Rumania is made up of many different nationalities and language
groups. Our Baptist people there were divided into four language
groups; and there were four Baptist Conventions, dividing the people
according to differences of language— Rumanian, Hungarian, Russian,
2 Since World War II and the inclusion of Hungary and contiguous nations in
the Soviet orbit, we have little information concerning Baptists in that area. We
do know that God is still at work behind the Iron Curtain.
Visiting Mission Fields in Europe 89
and German. Because the Rumanian Convention had been torn
asunder by strife and discord, there were two conventions of the
Rumanian language group.
The fact that our Baptist movement all over Europe was a peasant
movement will explain many seeming contradictions one found in our
work in most countries. For unnumbered centuries, the peasant had
been oppressed and ground down by both the state and the church,
either Roman or Greek. For generations he had been kicked around
as the underdog. Then a New Testament was put in his hands, and he
was taught to read it. A Baptist missionary came along and preached
to him that all men are equal in Christ, that in a Baptist church every-
body is somebody in Christ. The new wine of spiritual freedom and
equality went to his head, but there were others in the church with
the same ideas. The result was a contest for leadership, and the
biggest man won out and tried to lord it over his brethren, somewhat
like the priest once did over him and his fathers. So it was only
natural and human that these contests arose to trouble a growing
spiritual democracy that had not yet become intelligent and capable
of governing itself. This explains much of our trouble in many mis-
In 1934, Southern Baptists had work at only two places in Syria—
at Beirut, the growing and expanding French seaport, and at Kefr
Mishky, a Syrian village in the interior valley between the Lebanon
and Anti-Lebanon Mountains.
S. M. jureidini, a native of Lebanon, Syria, attended the 1893
World's Fair in Chicago. He was converted, joined the Third Baptist
Church, St. Louis, and was baptized by Dr. W. R. L. Smith. In 1895
he opened work at Beirut where he labored for years. He and other
workers were supported precariously by groups of American Baptists
until after World War I, when Southern Baptists entered Syria and
Palestine in the early '20's.
The work at Nazareth was begun years ago by Brother and Mrs.
Mosa, and later his nephew, L. V. Hanna and his wife assisted them.
For a while the work seemed to prosper, and the littie church grew
in a very encouraging way. I suppose Nazareth was selected for
reasons of sentiment. However, Nazareth is a simple, poverty-stricken
Arabic village with no industries. There is very little employment to
be had in Nazareth, and living is difficult and precarious.
Miss Elsie Clor, a converted Jewess, was a worker in Jerusalem. We
had some good property there, partially the gift of Northern Baptist
90 Charles E. Maddry— An Autobiography
friends and of the W. M. U. of the South. Miss Clor conducted a Good
Will Center, largely for Jewish children, though the work was open
also to Arabs. She had a flourishing Sabbath school on Saturday for
Jewish children and a Sunday school on Sunday for all nationalities.
She had clubs for boys and girls and Bible classes for women.
Seven Months in the Orient
On January 4, 1935, Mrs. Maddry and I sailed from San Francisco
on the Dollar Line, S. S. President Johnson, for a visit of seven months
with missions and churches in the Orient. Dr. and Mrs. J. B. Weather-
spoon, of the Southern Baptist Seminary at Louisville, by invitation
of the Foreign Mission Board, accompanied us. The Board was for-
tunate and wise in the choice of Dr. Weatherspoon as the man to
accompany the Secretary on this difficult and delicate mission to the
Orient. He had taught many of the younger missionaries. His help
and advice were invaluable. We went out to the Orient under instruc-
tions of the Board to reorganize the work in Japan and China and
bring it in line with the revised policies of the Board in Richmond.
The weather was mild and the sea was smooth during the first five
days of the voyage. We spend a happy day in the semi-tropical city
of Honolulu. Here we saw the strange and polyglot mixture of the
races from all lands and were greatly impressed with the success
of our government in its first colonial venture with Oriental people.
The first day out from Honolulu we passed the international date
line. We went to bed on Tuesday night and awoke on Thursday
morning. Four days off Kobe, Japan, we ran into heavy seas, and
sometimes the waves were mountain high. The S. S. President Johnson
was an old ship and creaked and groaned in every joint. There was
little rest or sleep, and food had no appeal for me. Two days out of
Japan, the storm reached its worst. A lady whom we had met on the
boat soon after leaving San Francisco, in attempting to cross the deck,
was caught by a mighty receding wave and was saved by a seaman
from being swept over the stern of the boat.
Reaching Kobe on January 24, we were met by our senior mission-
ary in Japan, Dr. W. Harvey Clarke. We had our first intimate touch
92 Chaeles E. Maddry— An Autobiography
with the people and life of the Japanese during the day we spent in
Kobe. It was all strange and fascinating. That night we went by train
to Tokyo and had our first experience of travel on the Japanese
sleeping car. The trains in Japan were what we would call "narrow
gauge." The berths were too narrow and short for an average sized
American. Turning over in one of the berths was a difficult feat for
a large-sized person.
Upon arrival in Tokyo we were greeted by missionaries Edwin
Dozier and wife, Hermon Ray, and the native pastors and were enter-
tained in the lovely home of Dr. W. Harvey Clarke. The next day we
began a fifteen day tour of our Japanese Baptist churches, schools,
and institutions. We found difficult problems awaiting solution. Mr.
and Mrs. Dozier, Mr. Ray, and others had prepared a booklet for
us giving a brief history of the Baptist work in each mission through-
out Japan. The work in each church, school, and institution was
described and the needs stated. A list of all missionaries who had
served in Japan was given, beginning with the first Southern Baptist
missionaries sent to Japan in 1889, Reverend and Mrs. J. W. McCollum
and Reverend and Mrs. J. A. Brunson. A total of fifty-five had been
sent out in forty-five years.
The history of modern Japan dates from 1854, when Commodore
Matthew Galbraith Perry sailed into Uraga Bay, the port of modern
Japan. Japan, until that time, had been a medieval, feudal kingdom,
living in proud isolation from all the other nations of the world. In
1853, Secretary William A. Graham of the United States Navy, acting
under the instructions of President Filmore, sent Commodore Perry
to Japan on a preliminary visit. He carried a formal supplication from
the president for the opening up of commercial relations between the
The Japanese government replied that the matter was of such far-
reaching importance that no immediate reply could be made at that
time, but that an answer would be given the following year. With the
other ships of his squadron, Perry sailed away to his appointed
rendezvous near Hong Kong, China. In February, 1854, he returned
to Japan. His greatly enlarged squadron of "fearful fire ships" ( as the
Japanese called them ) cast anchor over against Tokyo.
After many weeks of tiresome and evasive delay, the Japanese
agreed to receive from Commodore Perry a letter and a long list of
presents from President Filmore. The gifts included a miniature rail-
way and locomotive that would run on its own steam, a telegraph
Seven Months in the Orient 93
set, a sewing machine, the annals of Congress, a description of bird
life in America, several barrels of Kentucky whiskey, many cases of
champagne, all kinds of guns and assorted ammunition for them, a
list of the post offices in the United States, a Farmer's Guide, and
a geological report of Minnesota!
On Sunday, July 10, 1854, negotiations concerning the treaty were
suspended for the day and "divine service" was held on board the
flagship of Commodore Perry. Psalm 100 was read, prayers were
offered, and a group sang the great old gospel hymn which begins with
Before Jehovah's awful throne
Ye nations bow with sacred joy;
Know that the Lord is God alone,
He can create, He can destroy.
The startled Japanese gathered in throngs on the shore. They were
deeply impressed by this, the first Protestant Christian service ever
held in Japan.
The news that Japan was at long last open to the western world
created a sensation in America. Our Baptist grandfathers began to
plan at once to send the gospel to the peoples of this benighted land.
Missionary Matthew T. Yates of China, repeatedly urged the Foreign
Mission Board to send missionaries. Dr. Yates felt so strongly that
Southern Baptists should enter Japan that he offered to give up his
mission in China and begin work in the Island Kingdom. So pro-
foundly did he feel that the hour of destiny had struck for Japan
that he offered to pay personally the salary of a missionary to preach
the gospel in that emerging nation. The Board felt, however, that
that the work of Dr. Yates in Shanghai must not be given up.
The decision was made that the Board would open work in Japan
at the earliest possible time, and a diligent search was begun for a
suitable couple to begin this difficult and important task.
There was subdued excitement in the mission rooms of the Baptist
Foreign Mission Board in Richmond, Virginia, early in the new year
of 1860. After months of seemingly fruitless search, three missionary
candidates had come forward offering their services.
There was general satisfaction among the Baptists of the South
and especially of Virginia, that Reverend Crawford H. Toy, a recent
graduate of the University of Virginia and a student of the Southern
Baptist Theological Seminary of Greenville, South Carolina, had
94 Charles E. Maddry— An Autobiography
offered to go to Japan. He was a choice young man from one of the
first families of Virginia. He had taken a high rank in his studies, both
at the university and at the theological seminary. He had taught for
two years in the x\lbemarle Female Seminary in Charlottesville. It
was generallv understood in Baptist circles in Virginia that he was
soon to marry a brilliant young woman who had recently graduated
from the Albemarle Institute. It seemed the matter was all settled
and was made doubly sure, when the Portsmouth Association of
Virginia came forward to guarantee the salary of the yomig mis-
At the same time, Reverend John Quincy Adams Rohrer, of Mary-
land, and his bride, Sarah Robinson Rohrer, of Pennsylvania, offered
themselves for service in Japan. They were choice young people,
highly educated and wholly consecrated to the missionary cause.
Mrs. Rohrer was especially gifted in music.
The three promising candidates came to Richmond for examination
and appointment. It was a proud and happy day among the friends
of foreign missions throughout the South when the word wont out
that the three young people, the first to offer, had been appointed. A
great throng crowded the sanctuary of the First Baptist Church of
Richmond for the service where the three were solemnly set apart
for the work in that far eastern land.
The Civil War suddenly burst upon the South in the spring of
1S61. Mr. Toy was unable to secure passage to Japan. He became
one of General Lee's chaplains and served with distinction throughout
the war. Mr. and Mrs. Rohrer sailed on the Edwin Forest in August,
1S60. On the same ship, Reverend and Mrs. A. L. Bond, newly ap-
pointed missionaries to Canton, in South China, sailed for their field
The Edwin Forest sailed into silence and was never heard of again.
Thus ended in disappointment and tragedy the first efforts of our
grandfathers to send Christ's gospel to newly-opened Japan.
It was not until the year 1SS9, twenty-nine years later, that work
by Southern Baptist missionaries was begun in Japan— "too little and
If that ship that sailed into silence had reached its destination,
would the tragic aftermath for Japan have been averted? God alone
When we arrived in Tokyo the weather was cold, with snow and
ice on the ground. We began at once our visits to the churches. In the
Seven Months in the Orient 95
church and conference rooms the floors were covered with mats, and
the buildings were unheated. We followed the universal Japanese
custom of leaving our shoes at the door of the building and preaching
in our stocking feet.
Missionary Hermon Ray had made an engagement for us to visit
the noted preacher and Japanese leader, Toyohiko Kagawa. We were
graciously received in his home, and he gave us two hours out of his
busy life, telling us of his conversion, his labors for the cause of
Christ, and the bitter persecution by former friends and governmental
officials. It was indeed a rare treat to know and to have fellowship
with one who after all the years of shameful persecution and imprison-
ment is at last universally recognized as one of the great religious
leaders of his generation. It took the bitter defeat of World War II
to convince the Japanese that he was the unselfish and devoted friend
of all the Japanese people.
We spent a delightful day and night visiting Missionary J. Franklin
Ray and wife in Hiroshima. It was a city of nearly three hundred
thousand inhabitants, with beautiful parks, lakes, bridges, and attrac-
tive homes. We had an adequate church building, a faithful pastor,
and a devoted congregation. In 1945 the American Air Force dropped
the first atomic bomb ever made upon this city. Unknown thousands
of people were killed in a flash. The horror and tragedy of modern war!
The Foreign Mission Board maintains a splendid, though limited,
system of Christian education for our Baptist people in Japan.
Seinan Gakuin is our school for boys and is located in Fukuoka.
It was founded by Missionary C. T. Willingham and is today one of
the outstanding Christian schools for boys and young men in all Japan.
In recent years the school has grown greatly in academic standards,
enrolment, and physical equipment. In 1952 the total enrolment was
3483. This included the junior high, the senior high, the junior college,
and the four year senior college. The woman's training school was
operated in connection with the junior college and the seminary in
connection with the senior college.
Seinan Jo Gakuin, the school for girls, is located at Kokura and has
a splendid property on a high hill overlooking the beautiful and fast-
growing city of Kokura. The W. M. U. of Japan had its offices at
The Good Will Center at Tobata was founded by Missionaiy Naomi
Schell of North Carolina and has been highly influential in winning
all classes of Japanese people. I consider it one of the most fruitful
96 Charles E. Maddry— An Autobiography
missionary agencies that I have seen on our Baptist mission fields.
In 1935 there were only fifteen Southern Baptist missionaries for all
phases of the work in Japan. Today we have more than one hundred
Now we may look forward to a glorious day which is already
dawning when the Japanese masses will turn to Christ in ever-
increasing numbers. One great good, at least, that has come out of the
defeat of the Japanese nation in the late war, is the declaration by
the Japanese emperor himself that he is not divine and never was.
Surely this opens the way to win the Japanese people to the cause of
Christ and to bind this nation of seventy million alert and gifted
people to our side in an all-out effort to win the billion souls in the
Orient to the gospel of Christ.
America has done a thing in Japan that is unprecedented in history.
She won a smashing victoiy over a valiant foe and then, with no
thought of economic gain for herself, set them free— free from the
tyranny and fear of Russia and free from their own greedy and
selfish war lords. The lesson has not been lost on the Japanese people,
gifted in initiative and scientific skill as few other people in the world.
Until this time the work in China had been organized into separate
missions— the South China, the Central, the Interior, and the North
China missions. Each was independent of the other, and there was
no nation-wide organization. Even within the missions there was
much individual action. If the missionary desired to begin a new work,
he proceeded on his own responsibility and appealed directly to the
Board for support. If a missionary felt led by the Lord to change from
one mission to another, he went ahead and made the change without
much consideration for the needs of the work as a whole. The missions
were loosely tied to the Board except in the matter of support.
In each mission in China, the work was usually built up around
one dominant, outstanding personality. The work had grown in a
marvelous way. Schools, hospitals, and theological seminaries had
sprung up and were doing good work, but there was need for a closer
co-administration of the work as a whole.
While we were on a tour of our Baptist mission work in China in
1935, the deacons of the North Gate (First) Baptist Church in
Shanghai placed in my hands the original minutes of the church.
Here is a verbatim copy from this precious old record book of the
| Charles E. Maddry and
R. T. Vann
Charles E. Maddry and
The Maddrys at a reception
honoring his seventy-eighth
Charles E. Maddry, M. Theron
Rankin, and J. W. Decker, sec-
retary, American Baptist For-
eign Mission Society
Seven Months in the Orient 97
first Baptist church organized in Shanghai, in the rich Yangtze
Valley of Central China, where at least one hundred million people
live today. The minutes are in the clear, bold handwriting of Matthew
T. Yates, the first clerk of the church:
In the Providence of God the members composing the Shanghai Baptist Mission
assembled at the home of Reverend J. L. Shuck on the evening of November 6,
1847, for the purpose of constituting themselves into a church. Mr. Shuck was
called to the chair and opened the meeting with prayer.
The object of the meeting was then stated whereupon the following names
were recorded as members of the church:
Reverend J. L. Shuck
Henrietta Hall Shuck
Reverend Matthew Tyson Yates
Eliza Emmeline M. Yates
Reverend Thomas William Tobey
Isabell Hall Tobey
Reverend Yong Seen Sang
Mrs. Seen Sang
The above names having been presented, the church proceeded to the election
of its officers, which resulted in the choice of Reverend Mr. Shuck, Moderator
and pastor; Reverend Mr. Yates, Secretary; Reverend Mr. Tobey and Yong Seen
Our first view of China left some indelible impressions upon my
memory. The first was the crowds, the countless thousands crowding
roadways, streets, and shops. One never gets away from the crowds.
One wonders where they live, how they live, and what hope there is
of ever winning these throngs to Christ's way of life. After seeing
the multitudes of China, one can have a better understanding of the
experiences of Jesus : Seeing the multitudes he was moved with com-
passion toward them, because they were like sheep having no shep-
herd. He always did something about it. But, however much one's
heart may be moved by the sight of the crowds of the Orient, the
baffling question remains to haunt one's hours, "What can be done
about it?" The crowds! Multitudes that no man can number!
The second impression still lingers with me: the sight of the throngs
of ragged, hungry, hopeless beggars. They were everywhere with
their piteous pleas for money with which to buy a little rice. At first,
overwhelmed with their cry, I began to give out the small supply
of coins I had, but it was soon exhausted. Then a missionary rescued
me from the pressing throngs and reminded me that I could not feed
even a small part of the hungry crowd that pressed upon us with
their appeals. Always, everywhere we heard the multitude of beggars
pleading for food!
98 Charles E. Maddry— An Autobiography
Another picture that I cannot forget was that of the toiling, sweating
thousands carrying heavy burdens and doing the work of beasts. One
often saw a wagon or truck heavily loaded with stone, structural steel,
or other building material, being drawn at a snail's pace upgrade by
a struggling, sweating group of little men and women. Some would
be pulling at the tongue of a heavy wagon with grass ropes over their
shoulders, while others would be pushing and straining at the wheels.
Often there would be a mother with a baby strapped on her back
pulling or pushing the heavy load. What was the reward? After the
long day of such toil was over, there might be enough money to buy
a little food for the family.
Another impression was the sight of a poorly-clad, underpaid, and
undernourished Chinese man, pulling a wealthy Chinese gentleman
or an American business man in his ricksha, trotting three miles
for ten cents in American money. The men who follow this business are
short-lived. They die early of heart disease or pneumonia, contracted
while waiting so thinly clad in the cold for another "fare." I shall
never forget my first ride in a ricksha. I started to the hospital to see
one of our missionaries who was sick. The ricksha man I selected
gave out before I was half-way. He fell in the street with a heart
attack. I can see today the look of misery and helpless appeal in his
eyes as I pressed into his trembling hand more than the amount of
his fare for the full distance of the trip. Frankly, I never could feel
comfortable riding behind a fellow human being, pulling us at a
trot like a horse.
In Shanghai were centered nearly all the executive and financial
agencies of our four China missions, Central, South, Interior, and
North. Here, in a five-story office building owned by the Foreign
Mission Board, were the headquarters offices for all our mission work
in China. Here, also, was located our China Baptist Publication
Society and printing outfit, which supplied all the literature for the
churches, Sunday schools, missionary societies, colleges, and theolog-
ical seminaries of all China. A large book store was in this building,
One of the greatest evangelistic agencies Baptists had in China was
here in Shanghai. The University of Shanghai, owned, staffed, and
controlled jointly by American and Southern Baptists, was the first
educational institution of higher learning in all China to open its
doors to men and women alike, a step that was revolutionary in the
history of higher education in China. The University, together with
Seven Months in the Orient 99
its affiliated School of Theology and its downtown School of Com-
merce and Business Administration, gave to Baptists a commanding
position in educational circles in China not surpassed by any other
in all China. These combined institutions trained the pastors, the
school and college teachers, and a vast number of outstanding leaders
in business and industry throughout the country.
In Shanghai were located also several noted and popular primary
and preparatory schools for boys and girls. Outstanding among these
was the school for girls, founded seventy-five years ago by Mrs.
Matthew T. Yates, and conducted under the auspices of the famous
old North Gate Church. After Mrs. Yates' death, the school was
carried on by Miss Willie Kelly, assisted in later years by Miss Pearle
Johnson of North Carolina.
The Eliza Yates School for Girls and the Ming Jang School for Boys
served the young people of Shanghai and attracted students from
afar. Here Dr. R. T. Bryan gave the last years of his long and fruitful
missionary career in China.
In 1935 there were many fast-growing and influential churches in
Shanghai and in the vast Yangtze River area round about. It seemed
to us that the ninety years of seed-sowing in that strategic center were
beginning to bear bountiful fruit and that the churches were ready
to reap a rich harvest of souls for the kingdom of God. The missionaries
conducted us to the top of a famous and unique peak that thrusts its
head more than a hundred feet above the vast alluvial plain near
Quinsan, some fifty miles up the Yangtze River from Shanghai. Here
on this peak Dr. Yates often retired for prayer and meditation.
A few weeks after I reached China, I became aware of a growing
sense of nationalism and of a wide-spread longing among the Chinese
leaders and churches for an all-China Baptist unity to be expressed
in the organization of a national Chinese Baptist convention. After
consultations with Baptist leaders from both the Northern and South-
ern Conventions, together with leaders in all phases of native Baptist
life, we came to the conclusion that the time had come to put into
effect the organization of an all-China Baptist convention, embracing
every phase of Baptist work.
Dr. Weatherspoon and I left Shanghai for a visit of some ten days
among the churches in Shantung Province— a visit which was highly
valuable in helping us understand and appreciate the wonderful
growth and development of our Baptist churches and institutions
throughout this great Chinese province. We received a royal welcome
100 Charles E. Maddry— An Autobiography
wherever we went and were highly pleased to see the rapid growth
of our work in North China.
One experience we had in Tsinan, the capital of Shantung Province,
was very inspiring. Missionary Frank Connely had sent out a call
to the churches for a meeting of then representatives with the visitors
from the headquarters of the Richmond office. Pastors and leaders
in the churches came in large numbers. Some came as far as forty
miles to this conference; they brought their food and bedding on
their backs and slept in heathen temples by the way. There were
several leaders of women's work among the delegations, some of
whom had walked weary miles over frozen roads on their small,
bound, doll-like feet that they might add their plea to that of the
men for reinforcements. From nine until one o'clock we heard these
delegations, and the one plea of all was the same: "Send us mission-
aries and Chinese evangelists to preach the gospel, for the fields are
white unto the harvest." We heard over and over in this plea of every
delegation, "Send us missionaries with hot hearts."
After this hasty trip, we were more fully convinced than ever that
the time had come to give to the growing sense of nationalism on
the part of the China Baptists the influence and encouragement of the
Foreign Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention. We re-
turned to Shanghai and after further conferences with missionaries
and native leaders sent out a call to all our Baptist missionaries and
native leaders of China for a conference in Shanghai early in April.
While the Foreign Mission Board paid the traveling expenses of our
missionaries, the churches, national boards and schools paid the ex-
penses of the Chinese representatives.
They came in large numbers— missionaries, pastors, and leaders-
representing all Baptist work in China, both American and Southern.
Heretofore, the missionaries had scarcely known their fellow mis-
sionaries except those belonging to their own mission. The native
pastors and leaders were likewise meeting for the first time. It was
truly a conference of far-reaching import for our mission work in
China. Instead of a limited and circumscribed view of the work as
the responsibility of only one provincial mission, a vision of the work
as the united responsibility of all the Baptist forces in China was to
grow out of this conference.
Out of this meeting in Shanghai, the Secretary and the missionaries
received a new impression of the worth and ability of our Chinese co-
workers in an all-out effort to win China to Christ. Before this, we had
Seven Months in the Orient 101
a feeling that the task of winning the Chinese to Christ was largely the
duty and responsibility of the Board in Richmond and of the mis-
sionaries in China. With a new appreciation of our Chinese churches
and leaders, there came to all of us a new sense of the vital need for
co-operation. Henceforth, the main burden of the task was to rest
upon the Chinese churches and leaders, and we were to be partners
and helpers in the undertaking. It was no longer a foreign mission
enterprise carried on by Americans, but a Chinese enterprise in which
we were to co-operate with them and reinforce them in their home
The Communists have shut us out of China for a season, but God
is still at work behind the Bamboo Curtain, and multitudes of Chinese
Baptists remain faithful.
We visited the churches and missionary friends in the ancient city
of Soochow where strong churches and efficient schools were located.
Yates Academy for boys and Weiling Academy for girls were not only
schools of high academic standing, but they were, above all, evan-
gelistic. Dr. and Mrs. C. G. McDaniel, Miss Sophie Lanneau, and
many other consecrated missionaries wrought nobly in teaching young
Chinese the way of life.
We spent four weeks of difficult travel and of fine fellowship with
the churches and workers in these two great missions in Interior and
North China. It was a rare and inspiring experience that was to guide
us during the dark and difficult days that were to come to all of our
mission work in China, for, henceforth, we were to be the Big Brother,
co-operating and reinforcing them where they were weak.
When we were in Chefoo, North China, Missionary J. Walton
Moore took us out one day to a near-by Chinese village to visit the
monument erected by that heathen village to the memoiy of the be-
loved Southern Baptist missionary, J. L. Holmes. When we came to
the edge of the village, we saw in a near-by wheat field an imposing
marble slab. On one side in Chinese characters was an elaborate in-
scription, with an English translation of the same on the other side.
It told, in eloquent detail, the story of the heroic and supreme
sacrifice of the white missionary— one who had come from beyond the
western seas, bringing a new and strange religion. It told how he had
made every effort to save the adjacent village from the cruel wrath of
the Taiping rebels.
Preceding the All-China Conference in Shanghai we spent six
weeks in Canton and the South China area. The first missionaries
102 Charles E. Maddry— An Autobiography
sent to China by American Baptists were located in Canton— J. L.
Shuck and Henrietta Hall Shuck, T. J. Roberts, and Samuel C. Clopton
and wife. Henrietta Hall Shuck, the first woman missionary to enter
China, was a gifted woman but lived only a few years after reaching
China. She is buried in Hong Kong.
Samuel C. Clopton, the first missionary appointed by the newly-
created Foreign Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention,
September 1, 1845, lived only a short time. He died July 7, 1847, and
is buried near Canton.
In Canton was located the Graves Theological Seminary, named
for the gallant missionary, Dr. R. H. Graves, who gave some forty
years of brilliant and devoted service to our cause in Canton. Dr.
M. T. Rankin was the efficient and worthy president of this growing
seminary at the time of our visit.
The Baptist hospital was under the management of Dr. C. A. Hayes,
an official of the South China Baptist Convention. The National
Convention also sponsored an orphanage which was entirely sup-
ported by the Chinese churches. Mrs. Hayes, also a skilled and accom-
plished physician, operated a highly successful clinic for girls and
women in the city. Since increasing numbers of girls and women came
to this clinic to be treated, it had developed into a great evangelistic
The hospital had won its way into the hearts of the people not
only of Canton, but also of all the regions round about. Dr. Hayes,
a brilliant physician, had wide renown as a surgeon in all kinds of
diseases of the eyes. Government officials and war lords from all over
a vast area came to him for treatment. Withal, he was a friend of the
poor and needy and never turned one away from his hospital if he
was sick or destitute. Both he and his wife were great soul-winners,
and no patient who came to the hospital was dismissed without an
earnest effort being made to win him to Christ.
There were many churches and missions and schools in Canton
and the suburban areas. The First Church, which had some two
thousand members led by a gifted and highly educated Chinese
pastor, ministered to great crowds. It had a large choir— one of the
best we found in all China.
Mrs. Janie Sanford Graves, of Blue Mountain, Mississippi, the
widow of R. H. Graves, conducted a well-known school for blind girls.
Blindness is widely prevalent all over South China. The great heart
of Mrs. Graves was deeply moved for this unfortunate group. Girls
Seven Months in the Orient 103
are often unwanted and the hopeless plight of these miserable children
was pitiable indeed. Mrs. Graves, supported by gifts from the women
of Mississippi, supplemented by the Foreign Mission Board, had
gathered about her a splendid, capable staff of missionaries and
Chinese teachers. The school began in a modest way, but when I
visited Canton, it had grown into an efficient missionary agency which
attracted blind girls from all classes, rich and poor alike, from a wide
area. Nothing I saw in China moved me more than this wonderful
Christian service being rendered by Mrs. Graves and her associates.
Another appealing work was being done by Miss Lydia Greene
in the teaching of a large number of Chinese children in her kinder-
garten school. It began, like all our mission work, in a modest way
but had grown to imposing proportions and was then a training school
for teachers. It was a beautiful and impressive sight to see this devoted
American missionary and her Chinese helpers whom she had trained
giving themselves unselfishly to this work.
A little later when the Japanese armies overran and devastated
South China, there was great misery and suffering among all classes
of the Chinese. Since the suffering was especially bitter and severe
among the helpless little children of Canton, this devoted missionary
stayed on and with gifts from friends in America and the Foreign
Mission Board was able to save hundreds of these little ones from
starvation and death. She set up a feeding station and was able to
buy with American money, food sufficient to give her little charges
one good, nourishing meal a day. Communism soon overran Canton,
as well as all China, but it was never able to beat out the glorious
work done by Lydia Greene for the suffering children of her city.
Large and flourishing schools were conducted by the South China
Mission for both boys and girls. The faculties were composed of
missionaries and Chinese teachers. Large numbers of young people
were prepared in these schools for entrance into advanced schools,
both American and Chinese. In fact, many of these students went on
to our own Baptist University in Shanghai for further training.
I have already spoken of the work being done in our hospital in
Canton by Dr. and Mrs. Hayes. I spent several days in Wuchow
visiting the churches and the hospital there. Dr. George W. Leavell
had done a splendid work through this hospital. When his health
failed, the Board sent Dr. and Mrs. R. E. Beddoe, of Texas, to take
up the work. They did a magnificent and far-reaching work in this
strategic and fast-growing city. When they were transferred, the
104 Charles E. Maddry— An Autobiography
Board sent Dr. William Wallace who was highly successful in en-
larging and extending the work, not only in the city, but throughout
a wide area in Southwestern China. He became widely known and
was greatly beloved by the Chinese of all classes.
When the Communists overran Wuchow in 1950, Dr. Wallace was
arrested and accused of being an American spy. He was isolated and
treated with inhuman cruelty. In an effort to secure evidence to back
up their charges that he was a spy, the Communists paraded Dr.
Wallace through the streets of the city and the outlying areas, clothed
only in his pajamas. Every effort was made to induce the Chinese,
especially the Christians, to come forward and testify against him.
After weeks of torture to get him to confess to the trumped-up charges
that he was a spy, he was murdered in his cell. After this, his lifeless
body was hanged by the neck, and it was given out that he had died
by suicide. The mutilated body was then turned over to the Chris-
tians, who sorrowfully buried him in the Christian cemetery in
Wuchow. It was one of the most brutal murders ever committed in
the history of missions.
There was universal sorrow and regret over the resignation of
Dr. M. T. Rankin as president of the Graves Theological Seminary to
serve as regional secretary for the Orient, with offices in Shanghai.
The Mission was somewhat comforted when we announced that a
new missionary would be sent out for the presidency of the Graves
Theological Seminary. Missionary Eugene Hill and his wife took up
the work of the seminary.
Dr. Rankin did a splendid work in his new task of supervising all
our work in Japan and China, serving in this capacity with success
and general acceptance until the Japanese overran China. Along with
many more of our China missionaries, he was thrown into a miserable
concentration camp in Hong Kong. I did not see it all then, but God,
the Author of missions, had in training in the bitter school of ad-
versity, the future Executive Secretary of the Foreign Mission Board.
In 1903, when the Foreign Mission Board decided that the time
had come to extend its work into the interior of China, Missionary
W. W. Lawton, a native of South Carolina, was chosen to lead in this
new endeavor. In the fall of that year, W. Eugene Sallee, a native
of Kentucky and a graduate of our Louisville seminary was appointed
to join Mr. Lawton in this new and challenging undertaking in the
interior of China. He was a young man of outstanding ability, wholly
committed to mission work in China. Honan Province, with a popula-
Seven Months in the Orient 105
tion of thirty-five million people, was selected as the field for the
new mission work. Missionaries Lawton and Sallee traveled hundreds
of miles by river boats and other slow means to reach the destination
of their new work. The last fifteen miles were covered on foot; their
baggage was carried in wheel barrows pushed by coolies. Mr. Lawton
already knew the language, and Mr. Sallee with the aid of a native
teacher began at once the difficult work of learning to preach in a
Kaifeng, the important capital of the province, and the near-by
city of Chengchow were the outposts for the work of the missionaries,
a work which in the years to come was to grow into one of the greatest
mission undertakings in all China.
In a week's time after reaching Chengchow the missionaries found
a location and began work. They rented a good-sized compound,
arranged living quarters in the rear, and fixed up the front, which
faced a prominent street, for a preaching place. Mr. Lawton began
preaching at once, with Mr. Sallee assisting in every way possible.
In addition to his language study, he distributed tracts and invited
the people to the services.
The work grew from the beginning, and soon the little chapel was
filled with attentive listeners. Finally, Mrs. Lawton and the two
little girls, after many hardships of travel, reached Chengchow.
A small, crude home had been fitted up by Mr. Lawton, and the work
took on new impetus when he was freed for more devoted effort in
the work of preaching. The Chinese crowded the chapel and soon
overflowed into the home. They were curious and greatly interested
in their first sight of a foreign woman and the little American girls.
Soon a new missionary, Mr. A. Y. Napier, was sent out to join this
tiny group in the far interior of China. After Mr. Sallee had completed
the first phase of language study, he was able to begin preaching in
On September 18, 1906, Mr. Sallee and Miss Annie Jenkins, of
Waco, Texas, were married in Shanghai in the home of Miss Willie
Kelly. Mr. Frank Rawlinson, a classmate of Mr. Sallee, performed
the ceremony. After a stay of one week in Shanghai, Mr. and Mrs.
Sallee went to Chengchow.
On September 5, 1907, Mr. Sallee baptized four converts, his first
time to perform this sacred ordinance in China. About this time,
Mr. and Mrs. D. W. Herring, who had been working with the Gospel
Mission, came to our Board and were sent to Chengchow. The Board
106 Charles E. Maddry— An Autobiography
decided to expand, and to enter the large and important city of
Kaifeng, the capital of Honan Province, six miles from the Yellow
River. Mr. and Mrs. Sallee were selected for the work, the move being
made in 1908. The Sunday after their arrival in the city, the first
service was held with a congregation of five people. When the men
asked Mr. Sallee about the crops, the products, the habits, and the
customs of the people in America, his reply was, "Well, they are
civilized in the United States just as we are."
Honan Province, with its teeming millions, was almost entirely
dependent upon agriculture. Wheat was the main crop, and the yield
was often poor. Famine, with its trials, suffering, and disease, was
a constant threat to the lives of the people. Mr. Sallee, who had been
reared in the rich bluegrass of Kentucky, where there were abundant
harvests with prosperity and plenty on every hand, soon conceived
the idea of improving the yield of wheat by improving the quality
of the seed. He began the slow process of selecting year by year the
best wheat available. The agricultural authorities of the provincial
college gladly co-operated with him in this undertaking, the object
before the Kaifeng College being to improve the yield of all food
crops, especially wheat.
The missionaries of the Interior Mission soon found that one of
the big problems facing them was the securing of an adequate milk
supply, for they were dependent upon the very uncertain and meager
supply obtained from a flock of goats. They first experimented with
native cows but found this unsatisfactory. Cows, used for plowing
the fields, gave little milk and were rarely used for meat unless they
were diseased or too old to pull a plow. A quart of milk a day was
the average supply furnished by one cow.
Mr. Sallee conceived the idea of bringing in a small herd of the
very best milk cows to be had in America. On his furlough in 1919,
he visited a number of the big breeders of dairy cattle in America.
He told them of his dreams and plans for securing a small herd of
registered milk cows to take back with him to his mission in China.
The missionary had a sympathetic response from the cattle breeders
of America to his appeal for help in carrying out his dream of building
up the food supply of his adopted people in China. He secured from
donations, mainly from the North, twenty-two head of fine blooded
cattle— eleven Holsteins and eleven Jerseys. Money enough was also
given for the transportation of his cattle to interior China. En route
to China the cattle became infected with rinderpest germs, and in
Seven Months in the Orient 107
two weeks after arriving in Kaifeng the cows began to die. Soon all
but five were dead. However, Mr. Sallee was not discouraged, and
in a few months his fine purebreds had increased to fifteen pure and
seventeen half-breeds, worth at least six thousand dollars in American
money. Best of all, the people began to learn to drink milk. Soon
many Chinese families, besides foreigners, were being furnished with
The cattle industry grew and the provincial government was greatly
impressed with the success of this new mission project. Nothing ever
undertaken by these resourceful missionaries made a finer impression
upon the pagan people of China for the gospel of Christ, than these
practical steps to help feed the starving people.
As we write these words our missionaries are restricted in their
labors to Hong Kong and adjacent areas in Baptist territory. Since
1949 Chinese refugees have been pouring into Hong Kong from
mainland China's eighteen provinces. There are now eight Baptist
churches in this city of nearly 2,500,000 population. The oldest church
with continued existence is Cheung Chow, organized in 1842.
Our missionaries formerly working in China have been deployed
to other areas in the Orient where millions of Chinese and other
people may be reached, Formosa, Philippines, Korea, Thailand,
Malaya, and Indonesia. Tins reminds us of New Testament days,
when they that were scattered abroad by persecution "went every-
where preaching the word."
Down Under the Southern Cross
Southern baptists began work in Brazil in 1881, when Reverend
and Mrs. W. B. Bagby, of Texas, appointed by our Foreign Mission
Board in December, 1880, were the first Baptist missionaries to enter
After the defeat of the South in the Civil War, there were many
in the deep South who felt they could never again live in happiness
under the stars and stripes. Colonies from South Carolina, Georgia,
Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas went out to Brazil to raise coffee
and cotton with slave labor. The main center of operations for these
self-exiled Southerners was at Santa Barbara, near Sao Paulo, South-
ern Brazil. Here they organized a Baptist church where their own
group might worship. Upon the arrival of Mr. and Mrs. Bagby in
Rio Janeiro, they found a letter from this little Baptist group in
Santa Barbara, inviting them to come and preach for the church
while they were studying the language. Accepting the invitation,
they found a royal welcome awaiting them from these homesick exiles
In 1882, Reverend and Mrs. Z. C. Taylor were sent out by the
Foreign Mission Board to join the Bagbys at Santa Barbara. They
spent a year here in preaching and in studying Portuguese. As soon
as they felt that they had acquired a working knowledge of the lan-
guage, they decided to go more than a thousand miles to Bahia, the
most antagonistic Catholic city in Brazil. The Catholics in Bahia claim
that they have 365 churches in the city of 400,000 people, one for every
day of the year. I do not vouch for the truth of this claim, but I do
know that wherever one turns in Bahia, there is a Catholic church
Late in October, 1882, the missionaries at Bahia organized the
first Brazilian Baptist church. Having made a beginning in a great
city in the north, they decided that the time had come to launch a
Down Under the Southern Cross 109
Baptist mission in Rio de Janeiro, the capital of the country. The
Bagbys, leaving the Taylors in charge of the newly-organized work
in Bahia, went to Rio and began our work there in 1883. In 1884,
after many trying experiences and in the face of bitter persecution
on the part of the Catholics, the Bagbys organized a Baptist church.
Now there are nearly one hundred Baptist churches in Rio.
In May, 1936, the Foreign Mission Board authorized the Executive
Secretary to visit our missions in South America and to select a
Baptist leader to accompany him on an inspection tour of our work
in the lands of South America. I selected Dr. L. R. Scarborough,
president of the Southwestern Theological Seminary at Fort Worth,
to go with me. He and Mrs. Scarborough made the trip at their own
Our party, in addition to Dr. and Mrs. Scarborough, consisted of
Dr. W. C. Taylor, secretary for our work in Latin America, Mrs.
Taylor and their twelve-year-old daughter Betty, Mrs. Maddry, and
Miss Mary Shepherd, secretary to Dr. Taylor.
We caught our first sight of South America on June 1 and two days
later sailed into Rio de Janeiro, the most beautiful harbor we have
seen in the world.
Here began some six weeks of mission conferences, preaching
engagements, and fellowship with a glorious company of devoted and
courageous missionaries. With Rio as a center, we visited our churches
and schools in the outlying areas, making fruitful contacts with all
phases of our work in the city, the Federal District, and the state
The annual Mission meeting for all South Brazil was held in Rio.
At these meetings, reports are presented from all stations and mission
points. The meetings, much like associational meetings in the home-
land, usually last about a week. They are of great social and spiritual
value, especially for the missionaries who are serving in isolated sta-
tions in the interior. At this time the needs of every field are carefully
canvassed, and requests for appropriations are sent up to the Board
in Richmond as well as requests for new missionary recruits and
replacements. This meeting was of special importance.
The outstanding business of the Mission meeting was the dedica-
tion of the new building for the Carroll Memorial Publishing House,
which had been under construction for some months. This publishing
110 Charles E. Maddry— An Autobiography
house has been one of the greatest evangelizing agencies in all
South America. All the Portuguese literature, books, and tracts for
our Baptist work in Brazil are published there.
A meeting of the National Baptist Convention for all Brazil was
held in the city of Recife during the latter part of June. Nearly all the
missionaries attended the annual meeting, and a large number of
native pastors, laymen, and women came from all parts of Brazil.
Our party was welcomed with great enthusiasm. It was a meeting
of far-reaching importance, and plans were made for advancement
in all departments of work of the Convention. The Executive Secre-
tary was heard with deep interest as he outlined plans for closer co-
operation between the Brazilian Convention and the sponsoring Board
in North America. We found the Convention ready to assume a larger
part than ever before in the plans for the support of the work. The
seed-sowing of fifty years on the part of the North American Foreign
Mission Board was beginning to pay rich dividends in the promise
of the national churches to assume a larger share in the evangelization
of their own people.
It was ten o'clock in the evening and the National Convention was
just getting under way. The president had told Dr. Scarborough that
he would call on him to pronounce the benediction when the Con-
vention adjourned. In the president's speech, made in Portuguese, he
mentioned the names of the visitors and upon hearing his name called
Dr. Scarborough arose and dismissed the Convention. There was a
good laugh all around, and the visitor enjoyed the joke as much as
At the close of the meeting of the National Convention, we went
home with Mr. and Mrs. M. G. White of Bahia. We were especially
impressed with the work that was carried on by Mrs. White among
the leading young women of Catholic faith. The missionary had
organized a class in cooking and sewing, and the young daughters of
wealthy families came in large numbers to learn the art of home-
making from the cultured and gifted missionary of the despised little
Baptist group. Though the Catholic priest had done his best to pre-
vent the young matrons of his parish from attending the school of
this young missionary, through the influence of the classes many
doors were being opened into the homes of leading Catholic families
of the city.
We had an engagement in Victoria, a city about half-way between
Bahia and Pernambuco (Recife) but found that there was no boat
Down Under the Southern Cross 111
schedule that would enable us to reach our engagement at the ap-
pointed time. Having never traveled by airplane, Dr. Scarborough
and I were very reluctant to make the trip by air. Rather than miss
our engagement in Victoria, we left our wives to join us later by boat
in Rio, and took to the air for the dreaded trip to Victoria. I was like
the colored brother who went up for his first flight. When he landed
safely, a friend asked him if he was scared. He replied that he was
not scared because "he never did quite rest all his weight on the
strange thing." However, we made the trip safely and met our engage-
ment on time. After a delightful visit with the missionaries in Victoria
where Mrs. Reno was still serving, we returned by hydroplane to Rio.
While we were in North Brazil our schedule did not permit us to go
up into the Amazon Valley, now the Equatorial Mission where the
veteran E. A. Nelson wrought so faithfully many years.
In a few days we left Rio for a visit with our missionaries and
churches in the great interior state of Minas. This state, which is as
large as Texas, is fabulously rich in minerals and grazing lands. A
great center for cattle raising, it is destined to be one of the wealthiest
states in all Brazil.
When we reached Belo Horizonte, the missionaries and a large
group of native pastors, leading women, and students of the Baptist
college gave us a royal welcome. We were entertained in the lovely
home of Mr. and Mrs. Maddox. We had been students together in
the Louisville seminary in 1904 and 1905. The Maddox family is
remarkable, not only in missionary service and achievement, but in
giving to the cause of Christ four preachers, all four of whom became
chaplains in World War II.
The Baptist college in Belo Horizonte has grown in a marvelous
way. The only Baptist college in this vast state of Minas, it has a
magnificent campus on a high hill overlooking the beautiful capital
of the state. There are several churches in the city, and our work
under the direction of Evangelist J. R. Allen is rapidly spreading
into the interior of this great state.
From Belo Horizonte, we journeyed to Sao Paulo, the second city
in Brazil and one of the great cities of South America. The state
of Sao Paulo, marvelously rich in coffee, cotton, and timber, is rapidly
growing into a great industrial empire. The population is over-
whelmingly white— Spanish, Italian, and North European. Moreover,
it is one of the most beautiful cities in the Western Hemisphere.
The Baptist work has grown and expanded in a wonderful way
112 Charles E. Maddry— An Autobiography
throughout the whole state. Paul Porter was for years the only field
missionary in Sao Paulo. We have some splendid and influential
churches in the city. There is a good church at Santos, the seaport
of Sao Paulo and the largest coffee exporting port in the world. From
this great port, ships go to all the world, carrying precious cargoes
of coffee, cattle, leather, and mahogany, as well as a vast number of
In Sao Paulo we have a large and fast-growing high school for girls.
The school with its splendid group of buildings is centrally located
and draws girls from the well-to-do families of the city and state
of Sao Paulo. Reverend and Mrs. F. A. R. Morgan, the principals
of the school, were assisted by Misses Mattie Baker, Essie Fuller, and
Alma Jackson. The workers in the state at large were Reverend and
Mrs. T. C. Bagby. Since our visit, several other missionaries have been
sent to the state of Sao Paulo.
Our stay in Sao Paulo was all too short, but engagements were
waiting for us at Curityba and Porto Alegre. In Curityba we had
blessed fellowship with missionaries Mr. and Mrs. A. B. Deter and
Mr. and Mrs. A. B. Oliver. Mrs. Oliver is the daughter of Dr. and
Mrs. Deter. Dr. Deter had general oversight of the evangelistic work,
while Mr. Oliver had charge of the training school for preachers. The
work here was making splendid progress in the fast growing city.
Dr. Deter, a splendid missionary and a remarkable man in other
ways, had faced bitter persecution from the Catholic priests; and the
people greatly admired him for his courage and devotion to the
right. He had acquired Brazilian citizenship, and was made a chaplain
with the rank of captain in the Brazilian Army. The fact that he had
served with distinction greatly added to his effectiveness as a mis-
Our next stop was at the most southern mission station of our
Board in Brazil. Here were located Dr. and Mrs. W. B. Bagby, the
founders of our work in Brazil. They were living in useful retirement
with their daughter, Miss Helen Bagby, who married Missionary
W. E. Harrison in 1939. We spent ten days in their lovely home. Four
of their children and a granddaughter have become missionaries in
Latin America. Alice married Harley Smith, and, at the time we were
diere, they were engaged in school and evangelistic work. Albert, the
youngest son, married a missionaiy and located in Porto Alegre.
Reverend T. C. Bagby and wife are evangelistic missionaries in the
state of Sao Paulo. Thus the Bagby family, together with the sons,
Down Under the Southern Cross 113
sons-in-law, daughters-in-law, and a granddaughter in Argentina,
(Mrs. Anna Sowell Margrett), have given to Baptists a total of thirteen
missionaries. I doubt if there is another Baptist family in the South
that has made such a contribution to the missionary cause as the
Brazilian Baptists have both a Home Mission Board, organized in
1907, and a Foreign Mission Board. Dr. L. M. Bratcher, for many
years Secretary of the Home Mission Board, was called to a glorious
reward in December, 1953.
We left South Brazil on a German hydroplane known as a Condor
and landed in the harbor of the beautiful city of Montevideo, capital
of Uruguay, on a cold day in mid-winter— about the middle of August.
The Republic of Uruguay is a small country, if we consider only
population and size. Despite constant pressure from its big neighbor
just across the river, Rio de la Plata, Uruguay has managed to remain
one of the most democratic and progressive states in all South
Uruguay is a vast rolling plain, rising slightly in the north. The
rivers, Rio de la Plata, Rio Negro, and Uruguay furnish easy commu-
nication by water for the entire country, while the nation has a 130-
mile Atlantic shoreline.
Uruguay is often called the Switzerland of South America because
of the stability of its government and the soundness of its currency.
It has never been cursed with the oft-recurring political revolutions
that harass and paralyze other South American countries.
Our Baptist work in Uruguay, which was small, was organized as
a part of the Argentine Mission. In Montevideo, we had two mis-
sionaries—Mr. and Mrs. B. W. Orrick. Our main work was in the
capital city where we had two good churches and several missions
rapidly growing into churches.
The next stop on our mission tour was Argentina. The principal
cities are Buenos Aires, with a population of 3,000,371, and Rosario,
with 461,688 inhabitants. The republic is comprised of fourteen
provinces with ten territories. It is second in size to Brazil. In general,
the country is a plain, rising westward from the Atlantic to the Chilean
border and the towering peaks, including Aconcagua which is 23,081
114 Charles E. Maddry— An Autobiography
feet high, the highest peak in the world outside Asia. The climate is
mild in winter and torrid in summer. The three great rivers forming
the Plata system, the Parana, Paraguay, and the Uruguay, are im-
portant commercial arteries in northern Argentina.
Don Pablo Besson was born in Switzerland in 1848. His father was
a distinguished pastor in the state church (the Presbyterian in that
canton ) . His mother was a descendant of the Waldensians of northern
Italy. He was highly educated and, from his youth, was a fighting
advocate of absolute religious liberty. While studying for the Pres-
byterian ministry, he experienced a revolutionary change that finally
led into the fellowship of a small group of despised Baptists. He was
baptized by Reverend J. B. Critin, a French pastor. For a time he
served as a missionary of the American Baptist Mission Board in
Fiance and Belgium. Then learning of a great spiritual destitution in
Catholic-dominated South America, he came to Argentina. His father
never forgave him for joining the despised and persecuted sect known
Mr. Besson had not been in Argentina long before he realized that
Baptists would always be at a serious disadvantage in the Argentine
Republic unless some fundamental changes should be made in the
laws of the country. Some of the young people of his flock wanted
to marry, but the marrying business was a monopoly of the Roman
Catholic priests. If a Baptist couple wanted to marry legally, they
must first go to confession, that is, become Catholics. Also, the priest
always made the fee prohibitive for the poor Baptists. Then, when
one died, he could not be buried in the "holy ground" of a Catholic
Mr. Besson realized that the very existence of the Baptists in
Argentina was in peril until the laws of the land were changed, and
his people, along with all Protestants, were granted religious freedom
and decent human rights before the law. In 1888, the National Con-
gress passed a bill establishing the civil register of births, marriages,
and deaths for all citizens alike. No longer were the masses under
the tyranny of the Catholic priesthood. Thus, Don Pablo Besson
was the author of religious liberty for all the people of Argentina for
all time. This noble patriot passed to his eternal reward in 1932. He
was truly the founder of our Baptist work in Argentina.
There were other worthy Baptists who came from Europe in the
early days to reinforce the labor of Mr. Besson. They were not con-
nected with any mission board but usually taught school and preached
Down Under the Southern Cross 115
on the side. The first of these was Reverend George Graham, an
English Baptist, who located in the town of Las Flores in the Province
of Buenos Aires. Here he conducted a boarding school for a living
and preached as opportunity afforded. Another English Baptist,
Frederick L. Newton, came out on faith, giving part time to teaching
school and preaching as the occasion arose. Few families have made
a greater contribution to the spiritual life of the Argentine, than the
French family of Don Alberto Osterman. He was a merchant, and
was converted under the preaching of Don Besson. Soon his two sons,
Gabriel and Julio, were converted and began to preach also. Another
early stalwart in preaching was Don Jogrin Otero, a Spaniard. He
joined forces with Don Pablo Besson and was the organizing genius
of our Baptist cause in those early days.
There was a growing conviction on the part of many Southern
Baptists that they should begin work in Argentina. For twenty years
Mr. Besson had been praying and pleading for help from the Foreign
Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention. Just at this time
Reverend Sidney M. Sowell, a choice young man from Virginia,
offered himself for this work. There was one difficulty in the way of
appointing Mr. Sowell— he did not have a wife! It had been the policy
of the Foreign Mission Board not to appoint an unmarried man as
a missionaiy. Dr. Willingham, the Secretary, solved the problem by
securing from Mr. Sowell the promise that on his way to Argentina,
he would stop off at Sao Paulo, where Dr. W. B. Bagby and his family
were laboring. The oldest daughter of Dr. Bagby was teaching in
the Sao Paulo Girls' School. Mr. Sowell, true to his promise, stopped
over for a two weeks visit with the Bagbys. It was love at first sight!
Soon Miss Bagby became Mrs. Sowell, and in Buenos Aires they spent
forty years together in happy and fruitful missionary service. Their
daughter is now a missionary of our Board and is superintendent of
the Argentina W. M. U. Training School.
About the same time, the Board appointed Reverend and Mrs. J. L.
Hart, Reverend and Mrs. K. W. Cawthon, Reverend and Mrs. Frank
J. Fowler as fellow laborers with the Sowells in Argentina. At long
last, there was a strong and aggressive Baptist missionary work firmly
established in the three republics facing the Atlantic— all the way
from northern Brazil to Tierra del Fuego.
We reached Argentina about July 15. It was mid-winter and cold.
The churches were all without heat, and the floors were of tile. We
preached in cold auditoriums, wearing heavy flannels, overcoats, and
116 Charles E. Maddry— An Autobiography
rubbers. The missionary homes were inadequately heated, and we
really suffered with cold.
The annual meeting of the River Plate Mission was held in Buenos
Aires and was an interesting and inspiring occasion. The missionaries
of Paraguay and Uruguay were members of the Argentine Mission. 1
Plans for enlargement and new missionary recruits were made, and
all together it was an enthusiastic and forward-looking meeting.
We crossed the Andes by Pan-Air, and it was a thrilling and in-
spiring experience as the plane went up to eighteen thousand feet
to get through the snow-covered gorges. We landed in the beautiful
capital of Chile, Santiago, which is a city of 1,161,633 inhabitants.
The Baptists have laid a splendid foundation in Chile, and with
the large number of ardent new missionaries being sent out by our
Board, before long the whole spiritual condition will be transformed.
The domination of the Catholic Church over the masses of the popula-
tion is slowly but surely being broken.
Early missionaries in Chile in addition to Reverend W. D. T.
MacDonald, the Scotchman, were Dr. and Mrs. R. C. Moore, Rev-
erend and Mrs. J. L. Hart, transferred from the Argentine Mission,
Reverend and Mrs. J. W. McGavock, Reverend and Mrs. W. E. Maier,
and Misses Agnes Graham, Cornelia Brower, Anne Laseter, and
We met with the missionaries in their annual meeting and laid
plans for the enlargement of the work in buildings and new missionary
recruits. It was decided to open a new mission in Antofagasta, in the
mining district to the north. We visited the churches in Santiago,
Temuco, Concepcion, Valparaiso, and other cities.
We have an efficient theological seminary and a splendid school
for girls, the Colegio Bautista, founded at Temuco by Agnes Graham,
which is fast transforming the young womanhood of all Chile.
Among the cherished memories of our visit was the glorious
work done by Agnes Graham during her twenty-seven years in
Chile from the time she was appointed in June, 1920, until she was
called to her heavenly home January 23, 1946. I have recalled many
times that Sunday morning in October, 1916, how, after I had
preached in the University Baptist Church, Austin, on "The Upward
Calling," beautiful Agnes Graham heard God's call and came forward.
1 In 1952 Paraguay was organized as a separate mission.
Down Under the Southern Cross 117
She was a junior in the university and a brilliant and outstanding
student. As the pastor took her hand, her lovely face was suffused
with tears, and she said gently but firmly: "I will go to the ends of
the earth as He shall lead."
Agnes Graham finished her course in the university with high
honors and went on to the Woman's Missionary Union Training School
at Louisville, Kentucky, where she graduated with distinction in 1920.
With her background of culture and scholarship, it was easy for
her to master the Spanish language, and in a few years she was
speaking with the ease and fluency of a native. She was a born teacher
and had the innate ability of inspiring enthusiasm and loyal devotion
in all who came under her tuition.
Some years prior to her arrival in Chile, Reverend W. D. T.
MacDonald, a rugged and courageous Scotchman, had begun an
independent Baptist work in the growing, pioneer cattle town of
Temuco. Miss Graham joined in the work of this devoted preacher
and, together with other faithful and far-sighted missionaries whom
the Board sent out, laid the foundation for what has proved to be
an ever-enlarging Baptist work, which today has spread all over the
A letter came in January, 1946, from Miss Graham's co-worker,
Cornelia Brower, telling of the multitudes who came to the funeral
to bear sorrowful tribute to the missionary they loved so dearly. Miss
Graham died suddenly, away from home, and it was entirely fitting
that her body should be taken back to Temuco to rest among the
people she loved so devotedly and near the great school to which
she had given her life. Miss Brower, the one of all others closest to
Miss Graham, tells the story of the funeral:
The funeral services were held at five in the afternoon. We moved her to our
largest assembly hall, but that was not large enough to hold the people who came.
Every one says it was the largest funeral ever held in Temuco. They estimated
that there must have been two thousand people following the hearse on foot-
students, ex-students, friends, official representatives, government high school
teachers, and friends from all classes of society. It was more like a triumphal
procession than a funeral.
All the papers published something about her. At her grave there were several
speeches made by representatives of different groups. The missionary group was
represented by one of the Alliance missionaries; the graduates by one of her
best-loved ex-students; the teachers by one of our faculty who loved and ap-
preciated her; the government high school by the principal; the student body by
one of the next year's high school boys; and the Chilean pastors by the pastor
of the Baptist Church of Valdivia.
Agnes, greatheart for Christ in Chile! Hail and farewell! For you
the night is past, and the dawn of an eternal day has come!
Africa and India
The executive secretary of the Foreign Mission Board, beginning
in June, 1934, had visited all the mission fields of Southern Baptists
except Africa. Plans were made for the African visit in 1937, but a
sudden outbreak of yellow fever made it necessary to postpone the
visit until the following year. Accompanied by Mrs. J. B. Boatwright
of South Carolina and Dr. and Mrs. M. T. Andrews of Texas, Mrs.
Maddry and I sailed from New York on May 24. After spending ten
days with our Italian Mission Board, we sailed from Liverpool on
June 15 and landed at Lagos, West Africa, on June 30. A large delega-
tion of missionaries and African men and women from the churches
of Lagos and inland cities were at the dock to welcome us. The official
welcome of the Baptists of the Lagos District was extended to our
party in a public service in the spacious but crowded auditorium of
the First Baptist Church. It was a colorful and inspiring sight. The
singing was wonderful, and I could understand at once why the
Negroes of the South are such gifted singers. Nigeria is the ancestral
home of nearly all our black people of the South. I was hearing for
the first time the black folk sing in their native tongue and in their
original homeland. It was an experience never to be forgotten. The
Boys' School in Lagos is one of die outstanding examples of missionary
work in Nigeria.
We left Lagos on July 3 and made our first stop at Abeokuta. From
the city as a center, we visited day by day the churches and schools
of the Abeokuta District. Then for five weeks the tours continued
from such centers as Iwo, Oyo, Shaki, Ogbomosho, Ibadan, Sapele,
Benin City, and many other communities. Eveiywhere we went the
welcome was generous and enthusiastic. I preached in churches and
chapels, and when the crowds were too great to be accommodated
in a house, I preached outdoors under the trees.
Nigeria takes its name from the Niger River ( black ) which is one of
Africa and India 119
the great rivers of the world. Nigeria is one of the largest protectorates
of the British Empire and is about the size of the combined area of
Virginia, Alabama, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina,
Georgia, and Tennessee.
Nigeria is vastly rich in raw materials such as rubber, timber, cocoa,
peanuts, palm kernels, palm oil, and tin ore. The leading occupation
of the people is agriculture. The methods of farming are very prim-
itive, but with modern machinery and advanced methods of cultiva-
tion, the yield from the soil would be almost limitless. The soil is
exceedingly rich, and Nigeria is capable of feeding not only herself,
but the British Isles also, if and when modem equipment and scientific
methods of farming are put into practice.
It may be said without reservation that, except among those
who have accepted Christianity, polygamy is practiced throughout
Nigeria. It is the curse of the land. It is the ambition of most men
to have as many wives as they can buy and to have many, many chil-
dren. A man's social and political importance and his economic status
are indicated by the number of wives he has been able to acquire
and the number of children crowding his compound. His wives and
children constitute his main source of wealth. It is considered, there-
fore, not a crime to be a polygamist, but rather a distinct honor. The
women themselves, except Christians, approve of polygamy.
The twin evil of polygamy is easy and frequent divorce. The wife
has no voice in the choice of her husband and she is often sadly
disappointed by his brutality and ill-treatment. He cannot divorce
her, but she can divorce him by simply paying back the dowry money
paid her parents by the husband. There is always a surplus of un-
married men, and wives are at a premium. There are few unattached
women in Nigeria. The divorced woman is always able to find another
man who is willing to pay the dowry money and take her.
When we were in the capital city of all the Yorubas, the king
came to hear me preach. It was the first gospel sermon he had ever
heard. It is said that he had five hundred wives. Two of his favorite
wives came with him to church.
I was greatly pleased at the progress of our work in the eighty-six
years since T. J. Bowen of Georgia began his work as the first mis-
sionary. Today we have about 150 missionaries in Nigeria including
some twelve American medical missionaries. There are 250 elemen-
tary schools, six high schools, five normal schools, one training school,
and one theological seminary.
120 Charles E. Maddry— An Autobiography
In Nigeria we have 283 churches, and in the Gold Coast there are
38 more. In 1953, there were 3,370 baptisms reported. We have four
hospitals, five dispensaries, and in 1952 we treated a total of 38,912
patients. There was in 1952 a leper colony at Ogbomosho with 785
patients; also, there were several smaller settlements, and many lepers
are being healed if they are treated in the early stages of the disease.
Many patients are being treated with the new sulfone drugs. There is
a Baptist church with a large membership in the Ogbomosho leper
colony. The schools and hospitals in Nigeria are great evangelizing
In Oyo, Nigeria, at breakfast in the home of one of our missionaries,
we were sitting beside Dr. George Green, when one of the table
boys came and told the doctor that there was someone in the back
yard of the Mission house waiting to see him. Dr. Green excused
himself and went out. I thought that it was just one more case of
sickness or suffering calling for the professional services of the doctor.
Presently he returned smiling and, in answer to our inquiry for
the reason of the joy that was written in his face, said that an old
friend had come to call upon him and had brought him a calabash of
green corn. I at once sensed a good story and induced the modest
medical man to tell us the reason for the warm gratitude of the old
Several years ago, an old blind man had found his way to Dr.
Green's clinic at Ogbomosho and had appealed to the doctor to give
him back his eyesight. The doctor had examined him and found that
he had been totally blind from cataracts for several years. Dr. Green
performed the delicate operation. After several days of anxious wait-
ing, the bandages were removed, and, to the amazement of the old
man and the joy of the doctor, the patient could see. Dr. Green fitted
him with glasses, and after a few weeks, when he was dismissed
from the hospital, he had almost perfect eyesight.
The joy and gratitude of the old man knew no bounds. And the
best part of the story is that during these days of waiting in the
hospital, the medical missionary had taught him the love and mercy
of a Saviour who was waiting to save him. The old man had found
in the mission hospital something greater than his physical eyesight;
he had found the glorious light of the Saviour's face in the pardon
and forgiveness of his sins.
He went home and was gone for some days. Then one day he
came back leading a suing of ten blind men. Dr. Green examined
Africa and India 121
them and saw that some were stone blind, while others were suffer-
ing from cataracts or other curable diseases of the eyes. The doctor
took them in and operated on several of them. He was able to relieve
some of them and give back their eyesight. Finally, the day came
when he had to announce to those who were hopelessly blind that he
could do nothing for them. Dr. Green said it was a heartbreaking
hour that he would never forget. The blind men cried, wailed, and
begged the missionary not to send them away in darkness but to give
them back their eyesight, as he had the others. He tried to explain
that he could not help them, but they thought that he was offended
with them in some way and, therefore, would do nothing for them.
They crawled over the floor, kissed the doctor's shoes, hugged his
legs, and over and over in piteous appeal said: "Master, why are you
angry? What have we done to offend you? Please give us back our
Dr. Green said that whenever he visited Oyo, thereafter, the once
blind man always came to him bringing his simple gifts as an ex-
pression of some of the gratitude in his heart for what the missionary
doctor had done for him.
I shall never forget an African king who, after seeing some of our
mission activities, begged us to send some missionaries to his people.
It was several years before a couple was appointed to that field. In
the meantime the old king died, and one of his last words was an
inquiry when missionaries would be sent to his people.
Before I turn away from Africa, let me tell the story of the J. C.
Powells, typical of the experiences of other missionaries.
In the days when our Board was crushed by debt and we had
borrowed already too much at the banks, the Board said to these
devoted missionaries, "You can't go back to Africa. We accept your
resignation." They were down in North Carolina living with Mrs.
Powell's widowed mother. I had just come to the Board as Executive
Secretary and was trying to carry out the instructions of the Board.
In a letter to Mr. and Mrs. Powell I said, "You cannot go back to
Africa. We do not have the money for your expenses or salary. We
are accepting your resignation. You will have to find other work."
I had a letter from Mr. Powell in which he said, "We got the call to
go to Africa from God. It is his plan for us to be out there with the
black people. Now, the Board may say we cannot go, but God called
us, and we will go."
I tried by correspondence to convince them they could not go, but
122 Charles E. Maddry— An Autobiography
failed. One cold, snowy Saturday I got on the train and went down
to eastern North Carolina and spent Sunday with Mr. and Mrs.
Powell. I tried to convince them they could not go back to Africa.
They just smiled and said, "God called us to Africa, and he is going to
send us back. We have been talking to him about this in prayer."
Mrs. Powell said, "Why, I have absolute faith that God will provide
a way for us to go back when our furlough is over. I am busy sewing
and getting our outfit together and packing our trunks."
Monday morning Mr. Powell took me to the train. The last thing I
said was, "Now, just forget it, you can't go back to Africa."
He laughed and said, "Will you just do one thing for me— make
reservation for us?"
I said, "I'll do that, but you cannot go."
He said, "Anyway, you make the reservation and get our passage.
We will go back to Africa."
In a few days a letter came from Texas, signed by a woman of
whom I never heard. She said, in substance, "I am a widow, a seam-
stress. I make my living by sewing. I have a girl who will be ready
for college next fall. I have dreamed for years of sending her to
college, and I have been praying to God to call her to be a missionary.
I have saved up $150 toward the expenses for Lucille's college course.
I saw in Home and Foreign Fields that Mr. and Mrs. Powell could
not go back to Africa because there was no money provided. So
Lucille and I prayed and decided to give the $150 to help send the
Powells back. I am enclosing my check for $150."
I kept the check two or three days and sent it back with a note
saying that the check wouldn't begin to pay for tickets for the Powells.
They would cost $800, and their salary would be $1600. It was too
much of a sacrifice to take the check for $150 which had been saved
for Lucille's college course. The letter had hardly had time to get to
Texas before the check came back again with a letter from the lady
saying that God had told her to send the check, and I was to use it
as far as it would go. The amazing thing that happened was the way
money came in. One woman sent $800, another $50, another $100,
and $500, and $800. The checks came from all over the South without
anybody asking for them. Each one who sent money said God had
told them to send it so the Powells could go back to Africa. The
Powells came through Richmond on their way to Africa. We sat in
my office and counted the money. There was enough left over to send
back $500 to a woman in South Carolina.
Africa and India 123
World Missionary Conference in India
The World Missionary Conference met in Madras, India, during
the last ten days of 1938, shortly after our visit to Africa. The Exec-
utive Secretary of the Foreign Mission Board of the Southern
Baptist Convention was elected to represent the Baptists of the South
in this significant and momentous conference. I left New York on the
Queen Mary the middle of November and landed at Cherbourg,
France. I went to Paris for a few days' conference with our European
Secretary, Dr. Everett Gill. Dr. J. H. Rushbrooke, president, and
Dr. W. O. Lewis, American secretary of the Baptist World Alliance,
came to Paris for a conference concerning the forthcoming meeting
of the Alliance in Atlanta. We spent Thanksgiving Day together, and
early next morning I left by train for Marseilles. It was a tedious
trip, and I was very tired when I reached this southern port of France
and went aboard an English liner bound for Bombay, India.
I had seen China with her millions without Christ. I had seen
Africa, in her superstition and heathenism, but words fail me when
I tiy to tell of the poverty, superstition, degradation, and appalling
sin of India. I was especially moved over the almost hopeless state
of the untouchables in their isolation and economic misery. There
were more than 60,000,000 untouchables in India. They were not
allowed to associate in any way with the superior upper classes but
were kept in poverty, crowded in the slums, separate and apart
from their fellows. They were not permitted to drink at the public
fountains or attend the public schools or play in the public parks.
Only the lowest and most degraded forms of employment were
open to them, such as common scavengers and cleaners of the open
sewers. For one of the upper class to touch one of these hopeless
ones was strictly forbidden. Truly their social and economic status
was appalling beyond description. The sacred cows wandered
through the streets, grazed on the public squares, and were held
in far higher esteem than the untouchables. However, in recent years
progress is being made in elevating the status of these people.
On my way to the Madras Missionary Conference I remained for
some five days in Bombay along with the Methodist leaders from
America. I was graciously entertained in the Methodist Mission
House. Here I met Dr. Ambedkar, the leader of India's sixty million
untouchables. The lady superintendent of the Methodist work in
the Bombay area had assisted Dr. Ambedkar in editing and publish-
124 Charles E. Maddry— An Autobiography
ing his latest book. He was a brilliant scholar, and after finishing his
undergraduate work in the Methodist University of Bombay, he
came to America and took a doctor's degree from Columbia Uni-
versity. This Methodist superintendent was much concerned for the
conversion of this great leader of India's untouchables. She gave a
dinner for the American visitors, and Dr. Ambedkar was present.
The missionary wanted him to come in contact with some of the
religious leaders of America. The treatment accorded this leader of
the untouchables by the religious fanatics of America, especially in
some of his travels in the South, had given him a bad opinion of
Christianity in America. To our question as to his attitude toward
Christ, this brilliant leader of his people replied that he accepted
Christ as a great teacher and friend of the lowly, but because of
what he had seen of America's attitude toward the colored races, he
could not accept him as Saviour. He kept referring to America as
"Christian America." I tried to convince him that not all America
was Christian, but he seemed to be obsessed with the idea that
America was a Christian nation and was unjust in her treatment of
all colored peoples.
It took a day and a night to cross India by train. The sleeping
cars were just leather-covered couches, and every passenger had
to provide his own sheets and blankets. Compared with an American
Pullman car, the accommodations were anything but desirable. The
World Missionary Conference met at one of the finest Christian
mission colleges of India. The students were absent for the Christ-
mas holidays, and all the facilities of the college were turned over
to delegates attending the conference. The rooms were comfortable,
and the campus and surroundings were attractive in every way. The
college at Tambaram was fifteen miles from the great city of Madras,
and there were trains to and from the city every hour.
The so-called "younger churches" from India, Africa, China,
Japan, Burma, Thailand, Indonesia, and Europe sent large delega-
tions. It was truly a brilliant and notable gathering. It was claimed
that like Pentecost they were there from all over the world speaking
many dialects and tongues. Surely God was in the meeting. It was
an inspiring event when the roll call of the nations took place.
One of my most vivid impressions was that the leaders in the
national churches were becoming the leaders of the Christian move-
ment in their own lands and in the world.
The World Missionary Conference was organized along the most
Africa and India 125
modern and efficient lines. Every member was assigned to work with
some committee on "Findings." Dr. John R. Mott was chairman over
all, and he appointed a chairman over each committee. We were
given about ten days to complete our work and then plenary sessions
were held at the close of the meetings to pass upon the findings
of each group.
In the group meetings we soon found that no place was provided
for new subjects not included in the printed agenda handed to the
committees, and that we were supposed to approve the matters
handed down to us by the guiding minds of the Conference.
Just at this time Southern Baptists were suffering persecution in
Rumania at the hands of the Greek Orthodox Church. I thought that
the Conference offered a splendid platform for the airing of this
matter before all the world. Therefore, I introduced a resolution
condemning this persecution and placing the Conference on record
as opposed to the current outbreak. In the committee I was supported
by Northern Baptists, Southern Methodists, and Presbyterians. All
the delegates from state-controlled churches voted against us. I
expected this and prepared to carry the matter to the plenary session
of the Conference.
On the last night of the Conference our report of "findings" came
up for adoption. There were beautiful speeches lauding the com-
mittee for such a statesmanlike report, and Dr. Mott asked if there
was anyone else who desired to speak on the matter. I had sent up
a note beforehand asking the right to be heard for ten minutes. The
request was granted, and I went to the platform and stated my
case. It gave me the chance to get before the whole Conference the
fact that while we were there passing platitudes about church union
and the beautiful example of almost universal co-operation, there
were members of the Conference from Rumania persecuting their
fellow Christians called Baptists and filling Rumanian jails with
Baptist preachers. Our protest was rejected, as we expected, but
delegates from all over the world, while not voting with us, came
offering congratulations for the stand we had taken. Of course, the
brethren from the countries where the churches are dominated by
the state were displeased. They felt that it was unfortunate that the
lovely harmony of the closing session of the Conference had been
broken by the introduction of such a disturbing matter.
On Christmas Sunday, 1938, the American delegates to the World
Missionary Conference were invited to spend the day with the Amer-
126 Charles E. Maddry— An Autobiography
ican Baptist Mission in Madras. We worshiped with a large church
made up entirely of untouchables. The pastor was an untouchable,
highly educated and on fire with zeal for the lost. It was a never-to-
be-forgotten hour. The singing was inspiring and uplifting. The
sermon was delivered with great earnestness and enthusiasm. I saw
the people all around us weeping, and they seemed profoundly
moved. I, too, found myself moved with the people about me.
Though I could not understand a word the preacher said, I knew
it was an effective and Spirit-filled message.
We dined with the Northern Baptist missionaries, and, commenting
on the sermon, I inquired as to the subject under discussion. One
missionary friend replied that the pastor was preaching on the cross.
In India I was seeing, first hand, after nearly a century and a half,
some of the glorious results of the work of William Carey, the
cobbler, and the Kettering Movement.
I went to sleep that night with a song of joy and thanksgiving
in my heart over the outcome of that meeting at Kettering in 1792,
when "thirteen nobodies" organized the first Baptist Foreign Mis-
sionary Society in the world and gave <£ 13, 2 s, 6 d, about $63.00, to
send the gospel to India's millions.
I sailed from Bombay on January 5, 1939. The weather was
stormy, and the sea was rough. It was indeed a lonely and tiresome
trip of three weeks. I had been planning for several years to write a
new mission study book on Nigeria. Before going to Africa I had
gathered a great deal of material concerning our Nigerian Mission,
especially informing myself on the historic background. I knew the
facts concerning the work and location of every missionary who had
served during the many years of the life of the Mission. On the
visit to Africa in the summer of 1938, I had tried to fit the historic
data I had gathered into the work of every missionary who had
served in Nigeria. While it was all fresh in my mind, I decided to
write the book. On the three weeks' trip from Bombay to New York,
I spent seven hours a day writing. It was an exhausting task, but
when I reached New York, the first draft of the book was finished.
It was published in the summer of 1939, under the title of Day Dawn
in Yoruba Land. The book passed through several editions and had
a wide sale among Southern Baptists. I reached home on the first
of February tired but happy in the belief that the trip had been of
some value to our foreign mission work and that God's blessing had
been poured out upon us.
America's Day of Infamy
Suddenly there was a tremendous roar and the whole island seemed
to shiver and surge like a mighty ship in the grip of a raging storm.
"There must be a terrible storm coming up. I do not think I ever
heard such a crash of thunder. Do you have many such violent
thunderstorms in Honolulu in mid-winter?"
"No," said the Japanese maid who was cleaning my room in the
hotel. "It does not sound like thunder to me. It sounds more like
bursting bombs and big guns. The whole earth seems to shake."
My window looked out toward Pearl Harbor. I pulled up the
shade and to my amazement saw up amid the clouds a fighter plane,
apparently out of control, partially enveloped in smoke. It was roll-
ing and surging like an angry, billowing cloud. Some distance below
the rolling plane, to the left, I saw a rapidly decending parachute.
The cords were plainly visible but the pilot was hidden in boiling
clouds of black smoke. The parachute seemed to have been caught
in a terrible cross-fire of bursting shells.
The crashing roll of what I thought at first was thunder seemed
to die away in a series of terrific explosions in the direction of the
Pearl Harbor area.
There was a brief pause and a lull that was ominous of impending
disaster. Then the roar of an anti-aircraft gun rent the stillness.
This was followed by another and then a second terrific explosion
that seemed to shake the city and surrounding hills to their veiy
It finally dawned on me that this was far more serious than a
Sunday morning "alert" or a practice display of military and naval
I had reached Honolulu early Wednesday morning, December 3,
1941. The fifteen missionaries constituting the Hawaiian Baptist
Mission were at the dock to give me a heart-warming and enthusiastic
128 Charles E. Maddry— An Autobiography
welcome. A committee of three from the Mission had been appointed
to conduct me on an extensive survey of our work throughout Oahu,
the island upon which Honolulu is situated. This first day we drove
one hundred miles over the splendid boulevard which the American
government has built around the perimeter of this main island of the
After visiting many villages and community centers of the sugar-
cane and pineapple industry, about 4 o'clock we came to the winding
stretch of road as it skips and skirts the red volcanic peaks surround-
ing Pearl Harbor. Suddenly as we rounded an out-jutting peak there
burst into view the mighty American fleet riding peacefully at anchor
on the placid, inland lake known as Pearl Harbor. It was without
doubt the most imposing and impressive sight my eyes had ever
"Look, boys, at that gigantic structure of the Arizona. It seems to
me that one big bomb or shell rightly placed in that complicated
and elaborate maze of steel would put the mighty ship out of con-
"No," said a Texas missionary, with pride and enthusiasm, "that
is the strongest battle fleet ever assembled at one anchorage. That
fleet can whip any navy in the world."
With a sense of pride and confidence in the might of the American
Navy to guard and defend our shores, we drove on into the city
of Honolulu with a feeling of smug satisfaction that the Texas
brother had expressed the sentiment of each of us.
It was a quiet, peaceful Sunday morning in semi-tropical Honolulu,
at the crossroads of the Pacific. Fleecy clouds of vapor in lazy spirals
floated around the summits of the red-tinted peaks of volcanic rock.
The valleys were still shrouded in mists.
Far out to the west, with an occasional break in the clouds, one
could see for a moment the majestic swell of the Pacific as it broke
in long sweeps on the beach of the island of Oahu. The sweet and
pungent odor of myriads of semi-tropical flowers filled the air. All
nature seemed at rest, and the birds were singing with joy and
I was up early getting ready for three services to be held at dif-
ferent stations. I was to lay the cornerstone of a new church that
day, and for Sunday night a meeting for the soldiers and sailors
at Wheeler Field had been arranged. But the three sermons prepared
for that day were not delivered.
Charles E. Maddry at the desk
used by Matthew T. Yates
Charles E. Maddry at seventy-six
Mrs. Charles E. Maddry in 1933
America's Day of Infamy 129
The clock in the bell tower of the University of Hawaii struck
seven-forty -five. An eternity of agony crowded into ten minutes!
Seven-fifty-five, and America's "day of infamy" would be ushered in!
After hearing the explosions I hastily made my way down the
two flights of steps leading to the hotel lobby. At the foot of the
stairs, I met the hotel manager. He was wringing his hands in an
agony of hysteria, and calling out in a voice choking with sobs.
"Vacate your rooms at once. Come down to the ground floor. The
hotel may be struck any minute. It's the real thing. It's the real thing."
"What do you mean? What is the real thing?"
"It's war. It's war. The whole island is under attack of enemy
bombers. It has just come in over the radio. We are at war."
"No, no, it surely can't be war!"
"Yes, it's war. The radio has just announced that the fleet at Pearl
Harbor is under attack. Some of our ships have already been sunk.
An enemy plane has been shot down with the emblem of the Rising
Sun on the wings."
I ran toward the lobby, and it seemed to me that every guest in
the hotel was already there or on the way. Many were in a wild panic
of fear and hysteria. Children were crying, and there was fear and
terrible confusion on every hand.
The radio was turned on full volume. It was blaring forth the
details of the awful tragedy that was unfolding minute by minute.
The most appalling and destructive war of all the ages had begun!
Many of the guests of the hotel were the wives and children of
Army and Navy officers located at Pearl Harbor or at one of the air-
fields surrounding and guarding the naval base. These people were
crowded about the radio, listening to the detailed account of the
terrible tragedy in which their loved ones at that very moment were
involved. The cries and sobs of the women and children were
mingled in heart-rending confusion with the roar of bursting bombs
as they fell in a crazy-quilt pattern over the stricken and helpless
city. The answering chatter of antiaircraft guns, interspersed with
the thunderous roar of great coastal defense guns, was maddening to
nerves and emotions already strained to the breaking point.
Fires were raging all over the city, and there was continuous clang-
ing of fire trucks trying to answer the calls from scattered areas.
For hours we kept close to the radio and heard a running descrip-
tion of the terrible catastrophe in which the destiny of our country
was so vitally involved.
130 Charles E. Maddry— An Autobiography
Sandwiched in between the story of the sudden and murderous
attack upon our naval base and protecting airfields were the orders
and instructions of both the civil and military authorities for the
conduct and guidance of the frightened and bewildered populace of
the stricken city.
"Everyone must get off the streets at once. Stay under cover. Bombs
are falling in all parts of the city. Many civilians have already been
wounded, and a number have been killed."
"All cars must get off the streets and stay off. Run them onto
lawns and parks. Stay off the streets! This means everybody! We are
not asking you! We are telling you! All civilians are ordered off the
streets until further notice."
"Governor Poindexter has ordered a state of emergency for the
"A bomb has just fallen on the grounds of the Governor's palace.
Governor Poindexter was in his office but was uninjured."
"Fifty enemy planes have been counted over Pearl Harbor. The
Rising Sun emblem was plainly visible on the wing tips."
"Wave after wave of Japanese bombers are streaming through
the clouded morning sky from the southwest. Each plane seems to
know its assigned target. Their aim is deadly accurate and the re-
sults are destructive and appalling."
The first extra edition of the Advertiser, the morning newspaper,
was out at 10:30 a.m. There was a mad scramble for copies, and the
supply was sold out before the newsboy reached the hotel lobby.
Here follow some of the headlines in bold type:
"Emergency hospital announces a list of six killed and twenty-one
"Fort Shafter announces that the entire Island of Oahu is under
"City in uproar ten minutes after attack begins."
"First indication of surprise raid came shortly before eight o'clock
when antiaircraft guns around Pearl Harbor began sending up a
"Just three minutes after the attack was begun, the first American
gun was fired by a young naval recruit. Acting on his own respon-
sibility, he manned a machine gun and it was reported that his firing
was deadly effective."
America's Day of Infamy 131
"A vast cloud of black smoke arose from the naval base, and from
Hickham Field where raging flames could be seen."
"Oil tank of city set afire."
"Huge fires were raging at Pearl Harbor at 1:10 p.m. Five vessels
appeared to have been destroyed in the several air raids. One ship
has turned over on its side. Fires raging in four others seemed to be
gaining in intensity as they settled in the water."
"A dispatch intercepted from Imperial Headquarters in Tokyo
says Japan entered state of war with U.S. and Great Britain in West-
ern Pacific since dawn today."
"Part of fleet that has escaped is moving out to sea."
The attack began with wave after wave of Japanese bombers
diving out of the clouds upon Pearl Harbor, Hickham Field, Schofield
Barracks, and Ford Island, where many of the families of naval
The enemy planes came over in successive waves nearly all day
and into the night. The first attack, which came at 7:55 a.m., lasted
nearly an hour. The second wave came at 9:15, the third at 11:39, and
the fourth at 11:49. There was a lull for a while, then another attack
came at 7:15 p.m., and the last at 9:15 that night.
I was looking out of my room window at the awesome fires rolling
up from the burning battleship, Arizona, whose magazine had ex-
ploded. Secretary Knox has described the awful tragedy of sailors
swimming through burning oil. I heard the dreadful whine of a bomb
coming at an oblique angle. It seemed an eternity of agony before it
passed the end of the hotel, the length of two windows from my
room. It landed in the school grounds adjoining the hotel and left
an excavation big enough for a court house! Someone asked me later
how long I heard the whine of this coming bomb. I replied that it
seemed like about thirty days!
It is now known that many of the Japanese aviators who wrought
such havoc in Honolulu were educated in the high schools and the
University of Honolulu. They knew everything about the islands—
the defenses and vital areas. They knew, for instance, where the
officers and top sergeants slept in the barracks. They knew where
every ship was berthed and where every power plant was located.
They knew how many ships were in the harbor for the week ends,
their names, and where they were anchored. At least two submarines
132 Charles E. Maddry— An Autobiography
followed the last warship in through the mine fields on Saturday
There is ample evidence that those Japanese bombers were "suicide
squads." They were bent on doing all the damage they possibly could,
and for them the loss of life was only incidental.
A suicide bomber crashed within fifteen feet of the sub-station of
the Hawaiian Electric Power Company that fed Wheeler Field. Two
homes were wrecked and burned as the plane dived for the power
station. The bodies of the two Japanese airmen were horribly burned.
One of our missionaries saw the small metal tablet taken off the
burned Japanese bomber. On that bit of metal was the inscription:
"Bendix Airplane Corporation, New Jersey, U. S. A." The wings of
the plane were made of tin, but it was powered by an American
engine, driven by American aviation gasoline, and its bombs of de-
struction were made of American scrap iron.
Another suicide bomber dived for the broad doorway of the repair
shop at Wheeler Field. The work benches were crowded with work-
men. The enemy bomber wrought a fearful havoc of death and de-
struction before it came to rest half-way through the long workshops.
Bombers made repeated death dives upon the decks of American
battleships. Japanese airmen seemed utterly indifferent to death, if
only they achieved the objective set for them.
By ten o'clock on Sunday the refugees from all the airfields and
naval and military areas had begun their tragic flight into the city.
The public school buildings, hotels, churches, and private homes
were soon crowded. Many mothers had fled with their little children
without even a change of clothing. I had read of the horror of seeing
refugees fleeing from burning homes and murderous war. Now I
had witnessed it all.
In the first group of refugees to reach my hotel in mad flight was
a young mother, the wife of a naval officer whose ship had gone
down. With her were the three little children. The mother was in
the terrible grip of hysterical fear, and the little children, clad only
in their pajamas, were sobbing with exhaustion and fright. I was glad
for a few minutes to get away from the blare of the terrible radio and
give what assistance I could. They were taken in and given a room.
Friends crowded around with love and sympathy to comfort the
stricken and distressed group.
This case was typical, and it was the beginning of the confused and
disorganized flight of refugees from Ford Island (the island in the
America's Day of Infamy 133
center of Pearl Harbor where Navy personnel and families lived),
and from the areas of the surrounding airfields. The number of
refugees increased as that tragic Sunday dragged its weary way on
toward noon. The murderous attack had been in progress for four
hours, and the lists of Army and Navy dead and wounded were in-
creasing every minute as the successive waves of Japanese bombers
came over, dropped their loads of death and went back to their
mother ships for more. Some of those who fled into the city had
heard the worst already concerning husband or father. Others were
paralyzed with the fearful dread that any minute might become a
reality as the radio continued to unfold the story of the unspeakable
tragedy that was being inflicted on America's first line of defense just
over the peaks behind Devil's Head.
Over the radio all day, from 9 a.m. until midnight, there came
these entries often repeated. One plea was for blood donors. "Need
desperate. Report at once to Queen's Hospital." The reason for this
urgent entreaty so often repeated throughout the day was apparent
to everyone when the long lists of wounded and mangled soldiers and
sailors came in during the days that followed.
Another plea that brought a pang of fear and dread to every
heart was the continuous call for doctors and nurses. Finally, the
names of more than forty city doctors were read, and they were re-
quested to report at once to the several hospitals. The plea for
nurses was equally insistent. I knew by these appeals that the
casualty lists were large and increasing with fearful rapidity.
Another plea that was tragically revealing was for ambulances.
When the supply was exhausted there came the entreaty, repeated
over and over by the hour, for trucks for the transportation of the
wounded to the various hospitals. "Ambulances needed desperately.
Every available truck report to authorities at Pearl Harbor. Already
100 trucks have answered call for ambulance duty. Many more
needed at once."
There came also this plea from Hickham Field where the destruc-
tion and loss of life had been so heavy: "Hickham Field appeals for
emergency water supply for domestic purposes." Early Sunday after-
noon there came this gratifying announcement: "F. H. Davies and
Company furnished a fleet of one hundred trucks for Hickham
We know now that the Japanese had planned weeks ahead every
minute detail of the proposed surprise attack. To make certain that
134 Charles E. Maddry— An Autobiography
all suspicion might be allayed, they had sent a special peace dele-
gation to Washington. Their hypocritical envoys kept up their pre-
tense for a peaceful solution of the differences existing between the
two nations until the actual attack was in progress. We know now
that the orders had gone forth for the sailing of the convoy of death
at the very time the special peace envoys were on their way by air-
plane to Washington. The task force, under sealed orders, sailed
from a port in northern Japan about ten days before the date agreed
upon for the attack. The enemy force followed the Great Northern
Circle route until, just off the Aleutian Islands, they turned due
south for some seven hundred miles to their appointed rendezvous.
Five hundred miles off Honolulu to the southwest, the squadron met
the submarine flotilla that had been dispatched to the Western
Pacific some weeks ahead.
After opening their sealed orders, the commanders rehearsed in
detail the attack planned for dawn the next morning. At dusk on
Saturday afternoon the fleet sailed with leisurely confidence toward
the unsuspecting naval base at Pearl Harbor. At the first sign of day,
the death squadron came to a halt three hundred miles southwest
of Honolulu. In the murky dawn of a quiet and peaceful Sunday
morning, fifty-odd planes, weighted with then- terrible missiles of
death, took off for Pearl Harbor.
The timing was perfect. In blissful ignorance of the impending
danger, the Army and Navy personnel were taking things quietly
after two weeks at sea. Saturday had been a payday. Discipline had
been relaxed. Gay parties for both officers and men had helped to
while away the fleeting hours of Saturday night. Why worry? The
great ships were riding quietly and serenely at their berths. Every-
body was taking it easy and sleeping late!
Moreover, the quarter of a million inhabitants of the beautiful,
gay, and irresponsible city of Honolulu were sleeping after a night
of revelry, feasting, and dancing. Why restraint? The fleet was in.
payday on Saturday had quickened the flow of mirth.
For some two weeks the Army and Navy personnel had been under
"alert," but only for local sabotage. There was no fear or expecta-
tion of danger from without. There were 70,000 Japanese nationals
in the city of Honolulu. Not knowing who were loyal or disloyal,
it was deemed the part of wisdom to watch for local sabotage. All
planes on the several airfields around the naval base for the week
end had been parked close together so that there could be efficient
America's Day of Infamy 135
watch against incendiary fires. Also, as an extra precaution, all gaso-
line and guns were removed from bombers and fighting planes. In
fact, the investigation brought out the fact that many of the fighters
and practice planes had never been supplied with weapons of any
kind except dummies.
It has since been revealed that there was no systematic patrol of
the Hawaiian off-shore, and radar apparatus was left unmanned. A
recruit, ambitious to learn all he could about radar technique, tuned
in less than an hour before the attack and detected the approach of a
large detachment of unidentified planes. He reported the matter
to his superior and was told to sign off as it was doubtless a squadron
of American planes on reconnaissance.
The tragedy of Sunday, December 7, 1941, will go down in history
as the most humiliating, shameful, and unnecessaiy disaster that has
ever befallen us as a nation. Thirty-three hundred sailors and soldiers,
the vast majority of them under twenty-one years of age, were sud-
denly hurled into eternity, without a moment's warning. Eight
hundred others were wounded, some of them horribly mangled. The
long lists of civilians who perished— many of them little children-
crowded the columns of the daily papers until one was sick at heart
over it all. There were mass funerals from Monday on through the
week until Saturday noon. Four hundred were buried in Wheeler
Field at one time. The heartbreak and sorrow of it will follow me as
long as I live.
All day Sunday and through Sunday night I saw the flames from
the burning Arizona leaping into the air. The enemy with fiendish
accuracy dropped a bomb down her smokestack. Her magazine ex-
ploded, and the mighty ship blew up and sank. All of the other ships
have been raised except the Arizona. Seven hundred of her gallant
crew sleep at the bottom of Pearl Harbor. I saw the mass funeral of
the remainder of the Arizona's men who were lost.
Sunday was a dreadful night spent in total darkness. We greatly
feared there would be other attacks that night and the days following.
We feared also that saboteurs would burn the city that night.
God grant that America shall never experience what I saw, and
may he forgive America for her senseless and greedy policy of con-
tinuing, for four years, to sell oil, gasoline, scrap iron, and airplane
engines to Japan for the destruction of helpless China and the death
of untold millions of innocent men, women, and children. It had
come back to us in fearful judgment!
Retirement from the Secretaryship
I finished my visits to all the mission fields of our Board with the
trip to the newly-established Hawaiian Mission in December, 1941.
I was tired when I went out to Honolulu. I came back home com-
pletely exhausted, nervous, and sleepless. The burden of the work
in the homeland, the continuous travel in foreign lands, the effort
to pay off the crushing debt on the Board, together with the heavy
responsibility of the administration of the affairs of the Board at home
and abroad, had undermined my health. I knew I was headed for
a scrap heap unless some way was found for complete rest. This was
impossible as long as I remained Executive Secretary.
After many weeks of earnest prayer for divine guidance, I pre-
sented the following to the Board at the October meeting in 1943:
Statement of the Executive Secretary
Eleven years ago the Foreign Mission Board in annual session called me to be
Executive Secretary of the Foreign Board. Without going into details or at-
tempting to recount the struggles of these years, I now come to request that the
Foreign Mission Board at this semi-annual session appoint a committee of nine
members, constituting one-fourth of the membership of the Board, to search out
and recommend to the Board for election at the semi-annual meeting in April,
1944 an associate executive secretary who, with some months of training with the
Executive Secretary, should be able to take over the work by the close of the
At the close of the year 1944 I will be within three months of my sixty-ninth
birthday. This will complete twelve years of service with this Board as Executive
Secretary, and this added to twelve years in the secretaryship in North Carolina
will complete twenty-four years of hard laborous and exhausting work as a general
The work of this Board in both Europe and China will have to be completely
reorganized. It is a task that is going to require the boundless energy and strength
of a younger man. This man, by all means, ought to be in training not later than
the semi-annual meeting of the Board next October for this challenging and
exacting task that lies ahead for Southern Baptists.
We firmly believe that every door in the world will be open for the entrance
of the gospel when this terrible war comes to an end. You need a young man
in this crucial and exacting position for your leader for the first quarter of a
Retirement from the Secretaryship 137
century of new Southern Baptists' foreign mission work that soon will be dawning
for us. The time will be all too short to seek out and train such a man.
Please be assured of my deep and abounding gratitude for the boundless way
in which you have supported me through these eleven crucial and epoch-making
years it has been my privilege to serve with you. And be assured, further, that
all of my strength and whatever ability God may give me will be at your disposal
until the Lord shall call me unto himself.
The Board replied in the following statement:
In Appreciation of Dr. Charles E. Maddry
When, at his insistent request, Dr. Charles E. Maddry retires from the executive
secretary-ship of the Foreign Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention,
he can review with pardonable pride and satisfaction and with deep gratitude
the tokens of favor, human and divine, which have attended, from the first day
until now, his leadership.
Baptists have always believed, when they have sincererly sought it, in provi-
dential guidance in the selection of their leaders. That faith has had another
signal confirmation in the call of Dr. Maddry to be our secretary. When he began
his work in January 1933, neither we nor he fully realized how his background,
training, and experience had unconsciously prepared him for the duties and
difficulties of the most important and responsible post of service in our Southern
Baptist Convention. But as perplexing problems and delicate situations developed
requiring wisdom, understanding, patience, common sense, and religion we
became thankfully aware of the resources he had accumulated in his previous
manifold ministries. His pastorates, rural and urban, gave him the point of view
of pastors and laymen and saved him from secretarial detachment, and from
speaking down to people. His ambition for an education, and his training at
college and seminary, his superintendency of education in his home county in
North Carolina, and his connection as trustee of the University of his native
State added an intellectual breadth and outlook which have served him well
and the Board in formulating our educational policies both here and in other
lands. His eleven years as General Secretary of the Board of Missions of North
Carolina equipped him to deal intelligently with denominational activities, State
Thus to the major work of his career he brought physical strength, mental
vigor, breadth of interest, and an utter devotion to the Cause he was to champion.
And all these qualities were needed in 1933 when we seemed to be at our
wits' end. The shadow of a world-wide depression still enveloped us. There
was unsettlement in the homeland and uncertainty about our missionary work
abroad. Our well-nigh economic bankruptcy was reflected in our lowered morale
and the courses of retreat. It took a stout heart to sound a note of hope.
It was here that our Secretary made to our Board and to Southern Baptists his
most distinctive contribution. We humbly and gratefully recall the ascending road
we traveled together during the past twelve years. The statistical figures on
March 12, 1943 were still red, only they were crimsoned by the sacrifices of many
loyal devoted people who were determined that our honor must be preserved and
our work maintained and enlarged. Dr. Maddry in recounting our liberation from
the bondage of debt has never failed to magnify the organizations and individuals
that together made possible our recovery. But the fact remains that all these
achievements rest back on and spring from spiritual factors and inspirations which
no organizations, programs, techniques, and appeals could ever have produced.
Faith in God, in the cause of Christianizing the world, faith in ourselves, and
138 Charles E. Maddry— An Autobiography
faith in our people we needed. We were apologetic, on the defensive, and sug-
gestible to the counsels of despair. He imparted to us the contagion of his own
faith, courage, vision, and hope. Our unpayable debt to Dr. Maddry is the new
spirit he gave us. Our romantic statistics are the consequences of the confidence
he inspired, the spiritual dynamic he possessed, and which his fellow-workers
His twelve years as secretary was a period of expanding horizons for us and
for him. His journeys to every Southern Baptist mission field yielded rich divi-
dends for us and for the missionaries. His insight into the problems of preachers,
teachers, nurses, and doctors working with race and in countries different from
America, his comprehension of their perplexities today and their still greater ones
in the adjustments that must be made after the War have been reflected in his
plans and proposals for the next period of missionary work by Southern Baptists.
Growing out of recognized needs has come The Commission, a magazine which
is already beginning to realize the hope of the founder in giving Southern Bap-
tists by pen and picture an intelligent understanding of the peoples of the world
and our obligation to them. That the type of person who goes as missionary may
be fitted by personality, background, culture, and ability to interpret appealingly
our faith to the educated and the primitives, a personnel director gives his time
to finding the ablest young men and women of our colleges. Notable among the
advances in the last years has been the appointment of regional secretaries, and
in every other department of our growing work administrative wisdom has been
shown in meeting each new situation, in establishing new fields, and increasing
the number of missionaries wherever doors have been open.
Noteworthy among the many achievements of this administration has been
more than a million dollars given for the relief of the hungry in the famine-
stricken areas of other lands.
Our missionary enterprise is the unifying center of Southern Baptists. Its ap-
peal furnished momentum and lifting power for every other cause we support,
and the Secretary of this Board has from the beginning in 1845 been the symbol
and the incarnation of that work. Dr. Maddry satisfied that demand and fulfilled
that expectation. He has been persuasive in our pulpits and on our platforms.
With so large and divergent a constituency as compose the Southern Baptist
Convention it is no easy task to keep them with one mind and purpose, and work-
ing together. Not the least of his achievements is that in every relationship he has
sustained, with pastors, and laymen, with office staff, and missionaries he has
won and kept their respect, their confidence, and their affection. And they and we
think of him as a great Christian and so a great servant. Our Foreign Mission
Board has been blessed of God in the men who have been our secretaries. Each
faced problems springing out of the period in which he served. Each did his
day's work, and faithfully. In that noble succession Dr. Maddry has walked. He
has helped to make his predecessors' contributions secure. He has given security,
stability to our own day, and has laid the foundation upon which his successors
may build in confidence. We remember him as God's gift to us.
We are thankful that we are to continue to have— and we hope for many a
day— his wisdom, his experience, and his great gifts at the service of our Board.
We would convey to Mrs. Maddry our grateful appreciation for the reinforce-
ment, understanding, and sympathy she has given to our work, to the missionaries,
and supremely to her husband.
We wish for them a long afternoon rich in the best blessings of God.
Solon B. Cousins
John L. Slaughter
W. R. Pettigrew
T. C. Ecton
Retirement from the Secretaryship 139
At the June, 1944 meeting of the Board, the Board elected my
successor as seen in the following news item published in the Rich-
Baptists Elect Dr. Rankin Mission Board Secretary
Dr. M. T. Rankin, former missionary to China, yesterday was elected by the
Foreign Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention as executive sec-
retary of the board. Dr. Rankin will assume office on Jan. 1, 1945, succeeding Dr.
Charles E. Maddry, who desires to be relieved of the administrative duties of the
office after having served for 12 years. By request of the Foreign Mission Board,
Dr. Maddry will continue as field secretary through 1945, the centennial year of
During Dr. Maddry 's term of leadership as executive secretary, the board has
liquidated its entire indebtedness, which, when he became secretary, amounted
to $1,625,000. The work has been increased and the board now has 502 active
missionaries in 17 foreign countries, while Southern Baptists have grown in
membership from 4,000,000 to 5,500,000 during this period.
Dr. Rankin is a native of South Carolina, having been born at Newberry, S. C,
July 28, 1894, the son of Rev. and Mrs. W. M. Rankin, Sr. Fie received his educa-
tion at Wake Forest College, Furman University, and Southern Baptist Theo-
logical Seminary. He has the degrees of A. B. from Wake Forest, Th.M. and Ph.D.
from Southern Baptist Seminary and received the honorary degree of Doctor of
Divinity from Union Seminary in 1936 and William Jewell College in 1944. He
was ordained by the First Baptist Church, Durham, N. C, in 1914, and was
appointed to the Foreign Mission Board as a missionary to China, June 8, 1921.
On March 8, 1922, he was married to Miss Valleria Greene, of North Carolina
(born in China), daughter of Dr. and Mrs. G. W. Greene, for many years mis-
sionaries to China. Dr. and Mrs. Rankin have two daughters, Page, who recently
graduated from Meredith College, and Mary Lee, who is in high school in Rich-
While in China, Dr. Rankin served as professor and later as president of Graves
Theological Seminary at Canton. In 1935 he was elected secretary for the Orient,
which position he had held since that time. He was in Hong Kong when that city
was captured by the Japanese and for several months he was interned by the
Japanese in Stanley Camp. He came home on the Gripsholm on its first exchange
trip in August, 1942.
For eight and one-half years Theron Rankin led Southern Baptists
in a glorious fashion in their world mission advance. Then, on June 27,
1953, the tidings of his death from dread leukemia were flashed to
his fellow workers in many lands. His last written missionary chal-
lenge closed with these words: "I am much more afraid of standing
at the door of the new day of advance in the coming of God's kingdom
and having God pass me by as he moves on, seeking those who will
dare to follow him out into the world of this day. I would not dare
to be left standing there."
On January 1, 1902, I began my ministry as pastor of the Baptist
Church in Hillsboro, the county seat of Orange County. Hillsboro
is an old town, laid out in 1753. As already indicated, it was at one
140 Charles E. Maddry— An Autobiography
time during colonial days the capital of the state. After winning the
drawn battle of Guilford Court House, on March 15, 1781, Corn-
wallis retreated to Hillsboro and set up the royal standard, believing
that the loyal Tories would flock to his standard and that he would
then be able to overrun all the Province of North Carolina.
When I first became pastor of the Hillsboro Baptist Church in 1902,
the congregation was without much financial strength. There were
only twenty-one members. By 1952 the church had grown to a mem-
bership of something over two hundred members and was able to
pay an adequate salary together with a comfortable parsonage.
I retired as Executive Secretary of the Foreign Mission Board in
1945. After a season of retirement, I had grown restless and "home
sick" for the pastorate. When the church invited me to come as
interim pastor, I accepted and came with the expectation of staying
a few months. After almost three years I am still there. The con-
gregation has increased, the financial contributions of die church
have more than doubled, many new members have been baptized
into the fellowship of the church, and a new day of hope and en-
thusiasm has come.
Because of the Civil War and the loss of the building fund, the
church house was not finished until 1870. Through all the years the
members felt sorely the need for Sunday school equipment. The
matter was agitated at intervals but nothing had been done. At
one time brick were purchased and placed on the grounds. The
undertaking seemed so far beyond the ability of the congregation
that the brick were disposed of and the task abandoned.
The church in the meantime took out Building and Loan stock, and
when I came, there was the sum of fifteen thousand dollars accumu-
lated toward the building of a Sunday school annex. We raised twenty
thousand dollars more, and the long-dreamed of educational building
The church was organized on November 3, 1853, and in November,
1953, we celebrated its centennial. Our new building was completed,
and it was a great occasion in the life of the church. The building
is modern and up-to-date in every particular and will care for a
graded Sunday school of five hundred pupils.
I have been preaching for fifty-three years and trust in the provi-
dence of God to complete the "circle" and finish my earthly ministry
here where I began in 1901. Here in this dear little church I married
Emma Parker on May 2, 1906.
Retirement from the Secretaryship 141
The years have been good to us, and the Lord has richly blessed
us. We have one daughter, Katharine, who has been everything to us
that we could wish. She married Robert Watson Severance of South
Carolina. They have three children, Katherine Maddry, Robert Wat-
son II, and Sarah Watson.
I have now come to the end of the winding trail. The sun is long
past the meridian; the shadows are slowly lengthening. Soon it will be
sunset and darkness, but best of all, it will be sunrise in the morning!
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